Inside the Kitchen

Your guide to creating meal magic every day - from cooking to baking to entertaining for any occasion.

Group Home

Preventing Gingerbread Catastrophies

Posted by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 39 Replies
2 moms liked this


To me, the gingerbread cookie is an iconic image of the winter holiday season. There's just something about those cute little gingerbread boy and girls that screams Christmas time to me. Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite things to make, but they're not quite as easy as you might imagine. Sure, preparing the dough is no big deal - adding the spices, mixing the dough, refrigerating it.

The real difficulty seems to come in the baking. One minute too short in the oven? You've got a mushy cookie. One minute too long in the oven? You've got an overly dark, much too crisp cookie. But the truly aggravating part of the entire matter is taking the cookie off of the cookie sheet. It's one thing to break a leg off of a gingerbread boy when you're eating it – it's entirely another matter to lift the cookie off the sheet – and leave the leg behind. Or the head.

There's a simple trick to getting the cookies off of the cookie sheet without breaking them. No, it's not greasing the cookie sheet – if you do that, the extra fat from the spray will soak into the cookie, and result in a less than favorable texture. Simply line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. The easiest way to do this is to roll out the parchment paper, put the cookie sheet on top of it, and trace around it with pencil. Cut around the lines, and place the paper on top of the sheet. Lay the cookie cutouts on top of the paper, and bake as directed. Cool on the sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then just lift the sheet off of the pan, and place the whole sheet on a cooling rack. If you need to bake another batch of cookies, use your spatula to lift the cookies off of the paper instead of removing the entire sheet of parchment from the baking sheet. You can reuse the paper several times.

It's super easy to do this, and as a bonus, your cookie sheet will remain clean. All of your gingerbread people remain whole, and you can have the satisfaction of biting the legs off for yourself.

To me, that's the best part of gingerbread people.

©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
elasmimi
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:17 AM

I never put a cookie in the oven w/o parchment paper. Never had a failure since I discovered it!

MichelleK41
by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Good idea =)

chrissysnow22
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:27 AM
This is what I do. Too many burnt cookies to speak of over the years.
Flaca43
by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:38 AM

 I love the parchment paper! So glad I was given the chance to try it out!

GwenMB
by Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:45 AM

I'll have to try this! I usually have good luck just letting them cool on the pan for a few minutes, but this may be easier.

4kidz916
by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:47 AM

I love parchment paper.  Can't say enough good things about it.

cara124
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 8:49 AM

We're not big fans of gingerbread in my house but the parchment paper trick is something I am going to have to try with our sugar cookies . We have the same issue with missing limbs LOL >

arpazia
by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM


Thanks for the tip!

jessicasmom1
by Laina on Dec. 19, 2012 at 9:02 AM

thanks for the tip we like parchment paper

goddess99
by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 9:11 AM

I also use parchment paper all the time.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Advertisement Advertisement