Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies {from scratch!}

Pure Christmas deliciousness! Melt-in-your-mouth Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies baked from scratch and spiced just right for the Christmas holiday. Each nibble immediately brings back fond childhood memories of freshly baked gingerbread cake or cookies at Christmastime. Buttery, light yet moist and tender-crumbed, sweetened just right and full of spiced flavor. The powdered sugar even acts as an icing making this gingerbread cookie recipe incredibly easy as well as tasty. And you just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Add these fun gingerbread cookies to your holiday cookie tray and watch them quickly disappear. Everyone will rave!

Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies {from scratch!}

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes
Makes about 2½ dozen cookies.

  • 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (about 280 g) pure organic unbleached all-purpose flour, such as Hodgson Mill®
  • 2 teaspoons (about 8 g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2 g) baking soda
  • 2½ teaspoons (4.38 g) organic ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) organic ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) organic ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon (1.25 g) freshly grated organic whole nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (.55 g) organic ground cloves
  • 1 (8 oz/226 g) package organic cream cheese, such as Organic Valley®, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113 g) organic grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated cane sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed organic light or dark brown cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) organic unsulphured molasses, such as Wholesome!™
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure almond extract or Fiori di Sicilia extract
  • ½ teaspoon (2.4 g) fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 large organic egg plus 1 large egg yolk (mine weighed 74 g w/o shells)
  • 1½ to 2 cups (180 to 240 g) organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling cookies twice before baking

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended, creamy and smooth. Beat in sugars, molasses, extracts and salt; mix until well combined and light and fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. Add egg and egg yolk and beat in well until creamy and light, about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed—setting 6 on KitchenAid stand mixer.
  3. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just fully incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Cover work bowl and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Measure enough dough to roll into generous 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls, using a 1 1/3-inch (3.3 cm) spring-loaded cookie scoop (or by measuring a generous tablespoon of dough with a measuring spoon) making sure each scoopful is in equal amounts. This is important for evenly baked cookies.
  6. Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball and then roll in confectioners’ sugar to lightly coat. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, roll each ball of dough in confectioners’ sugar once again. This will enhance this particular gingerbread cookie in both taste and appearance.
  7. Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round cookie shapes and are puffed and crackly, about 14 to 14½ minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft in the centers. If they start to brown around the edges, they have baked too long. The underside of the cookies should be only very lightly browned.
  8. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove cookies from baking sheet using a thin metal cookie spatula and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, transfer cookies to an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough on prepared cookie sheets.
  9. If desired, chill the cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before serving, dust cookies lightly with additional confectioners’ sugar. Serve cookies chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes
  1. Fiori di Sicilia (The Flowers of Sicily) extract may be purchased at King Arthur Flour—either in the 1 oz. (29.57 ml) or 4 oz. (118.29 ml) size.

  1. Orange-Spice Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies: Add 1 tablespoon (6 g) freshly grated zest from a navel orange along with the sugars when creaming.
  2. For Gluten-Free Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cookies: Substitute 2¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon (about 370 g) King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour and 1¼ teaspoons (3.5 g) guar gum, such as by Now Foods, for the regular all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe. (It is important to whisk in guar gum until evenly distributed throughout the flour because it is very sticky once moisture is added and sticky lumps are undesirable in dough.) Whisk together until well blended and then continue with recipe by whisking in the baking powder, soda and spices.

  1. Chill dough between batches to keep it firm enough to roll and to prevent excessive spreading during baking.
  2. Only use completely cooled cookie sheets lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper before baking each batch.
  3. Avoid crowding the cookies on baking sheets by spacing apart at least by 2 inches (5 cm).
  4. How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 120 grams per 1 cup of flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
  5. How to Measure King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: There is no need to aerate the flour. Simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 160 grams per 1 cup of gluten free flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
  6. These tender cookies taste fabulous when served either at room temperature or chilled from the fridge.
  7. Cookies will keep for up to 1 week covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  8. Total time above does not include time for refrigerating dough before baking.

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