Gingerbread Cottagers

Photo by Bob Wigington


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Gingerbread Cottagers


Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas with-
out gingerbread cookies. Bring back 
summer memories with some cutout sunbathers and their cottage toys.

  • Serves: about 6 dozen cookies
  • Course: Desserts


  • 1 cup butter, softened (250 ml)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar (325 ml)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses (125 ml)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1.125 L)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger (12 ml)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (10 ml)
  • 1 tsp ground cloves (5 ml)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (7 ml)
  • 1 tsp salt (5 ml)
  • For decoration: tubes of storebought coloured decorating icing, candies, coloured sugar, and sprinkles


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs, and molasses until smooth.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well, kneading with hands if necessary to form a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic or waxed paper and chill 1 hour for easy rolling.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Roll out dough a portion at a time on a floured surface to 1/4" (6 mm) thickness. Cut with desired cutters and place on lightly greased baking sheets. To make a ring buoy, roll a piece of dough between your hands into a pencil shape about 5" x 1/2" (12.5 cm x 1 cm). (Adjust length as necessary so finished ring will fit around your cottager cookie.) Form dough into circle on baking sheet and pinch ends together.
  5. Bake cookies in centre of preheated oven until firm, 10–12 minutes for ring buoys, 15–18 minutes for cutouts. (Time will depend on size of cookies.) Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets, then remove and cool completely on racks.
  6. Decorate cookies as desired.
  7. Tips:
  8. - Use the decorating icing as “glue” 
to hold your decorations on the 
cookies. Apply icing, then sprinkle 
with coloured sugar or press in candies. (Don’t substitute decorating gel, 
which also comes in tubes; it won’t harden like the icing does.)
  9. - You can buy coloured decorating sugar and sprinkles at bulk-food stores and shops that stock cake-decorating supplies.

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