This easy Gingerbread Men Cookies recipe is a must-have for Christmas. Intense in flavors! Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and lots of molasses.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment butter on medium speed until creamy, for about 1-2 minutes. Add brown sugar and molasses and mix until combined. Add egg and vanilla* and mix until fully combined. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until combined. The dough will be sticky and thick. Give it a few kneads by hand and divide in half. Form discs and wrap up tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
On a well-floured surface roll out dough discs into a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 4-inch gingerbread men cookie cutter and place on the prepared baking sheets with about 1-inch space in-between. Bake for 8-9 minutes. I baked mine for 8 minutes. I also made 2-inch cookies which I baked for 5 minutes and 6-inch cookies for 11 minutes. Allow cooling on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
OPTIONAL: Stir together sugar, water, and salt until combined. Spoon into a zip-lock bag and cut off a little piece of one edge. Pipe on cooled cookies as desired.
*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your sharp knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Then just use the seeds.