Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies

Soft. Gingerbread. Drop Cookies. Need I say more?

Most of us think of gingerbread as cut out shapes or decorated houses. The idea of mixing, chilling, rolling, cutting, baking, and finally decorating gingerbread cookies may seem overwhelming. How can you make gingerbread less of an event but still have that great nostalgic spiced molasses cookie taste? Soft gingerbread drop cookies with cream cheese icing, of course.

This gem of a recipe was tucked away in “The New York Times Cookbook,” by Craig Claiborne. I know, 2 recipes in a row from the NYT cookbook, I’m out of control. These old-fashioned holiday recipes are hard to resist and unlike my grandmother’s books, Craig Claiborne has many. Although he was fond of my grandmother’s work, I have to believe that she may have learned more from him about holiday baking than he did from her. Since Christmas (or any holiday really) was not celebrated in the Peck household, her festive recipes are few and far between (as I mentioned in the Edible Manhattan article I wrote last December on her Linzer Torte).

I made quite a few modifications to this recipe, originally titled Soft Molasses Drop Cookies. I substituted butter for shortening, added seasoning and spice to make them more of a ginger cookie, and used a cream cheese icing instead of the suggested chocolate frosting in the book. I’m just not a fan of gingerbread with chocolate but creamy tangy cream cheese adds a nice acidity and contrast to the spicy rich molasses flavor.

Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Those fancy gingerbread houses, men, stars, and candy cane shapes are fun but I can probably make and eat a whole batch of these drop cookies in the time it takes you get your gingerbread house components into the oven. Plus these are SOFT (not like the brick version that breaks your teeth) and each bite comes with the perfect amount of flavorful cream cheese icing – tough to beat in the chaos of holiday baking.

Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

½ cup butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 large egg
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup buttermilk
 
Cream Cheese Frosting
½ cup soft butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, egg, and 3 tablespoons of the flour.

Sift together remaining flour and the other dry ingredients. Mix together the vinegar, water, and buttermilk. Add alternating to the molasses mixture and beat batter until it is very smooth.

Drop teaspoons of the mixtru onto the cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool. Top each cookie with a round of cream cheese frosting.

To make the cream cheese frosting:

Mix the butter with cream cheese until well combined. Add vanilla. Slowly beat in sugar.

Yield: 3 dozen

Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting | ImPECKable Eats

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6 comments

  • If you put these cookies in front of me, I would eat EVERY SINGLE ONE.

  • Hi Meghan,

    Thank you for this amazing recipe. I doubled the recipe 2 nights ago and made 6 dozen (+ a few) cookies. I brought 5 dozen to work for a Christmas cookie exchange. I did not bring a single cookie home.

    The soft gingerbread cookies were awesome! My cookies baked pretty quickly in my convection oven so I lowered the temp. a bit. They were done in about 8-9 minutes. I used pre-made cream cheese frosting. It was very very late in the evening in my defense.

    I have never had cookies come out this well. It was like biting into light puffy little ginger clouds. Sooo good!

    My one question is “What did you sprinkle on your cookies in your photos for the recipe?” Thanks so much!

    P.S. I already emailed the link for this cookie recipe on your blog to my coworkers.

    • That’s great Maureen! I’m so happy you enjoyed these so much. I love the name puffy ginger clouds – I should have called them that. Nothing wrong with taking a shortcut and buying pre-made frosting – we all need to save time during the holidays. Regarding your question, I just sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top for a little texture and sweetness. I later decided it didn’t really add to the recipe at all so I left it out. Thank you for the wonderful comments!

  • MaryEllen DiPillo

    I cannot wait to make these yummy treats! I was wondering, how far on advance can you make them and do they need to be stored in the fridge because if the cream cheese frosting? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay. They can be made a day in advance though they really are best the same day. You can make the cream cheese frosting a few days in advance though.
      Regarding storage, I usually store them in the fridge but they can be left at room temperature for up to 2 days. Hope this helps!

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