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USU Extension Education Highlight: Gingerbread recipes galore

Gingerbread cookie dough being cut out.
Dari Lli

Regan LaFever: Welcome back to another USU extension highlight from Utah Public Radio. I'm Regan LaFever and joined by our lovely guest Theresa Hunsaker, an extension specialist. Christmas is creeping up faster than usual, I feel and it's time to start baking all of our favorite holiday treats. For me, this always means baking the tried and trues. And then finding all the new recipes to have under my belt. One thing that I love to make as muddy buddies, and I'm always looking for new ways to spice it up. Theresa, can you tell me more about your gingerbread muddy buddies?

Theresa Hunsaker: Oh, they are so good. I love them. They are kind of spicy. And the cool thing about them is that they use either a gingerbread cookie mix, or a gingerbread cake mix as part of the powdered sugar that you put around those muddy buddies. And they're just lovely with flavor. Very easy to make and very traditional to muddy buddy as far as the process. I love them.

Regan LaFever: Oh, those just sounds so good. I also saw that you make gingerbread fudge. And that's something that I have never ever heard of. So what ingredients or processes kind of make it fudge-like?

Theresa Hunsaker: Oh, this, this one is one that has been our favorite for quite some time. And it's the basis of a typical fudge recipe that uses the marshmallow cream or the marshmallow fluff. But you pull in those wonderful gingerbread flavors of cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg and cloves. But this particular recipe is so smooth and so soft and yummy. We just love it. And it has molasses in it too.

Regan LaFever: Oh, that is so good. It sounds like it'd be super easy for a big group. Is that right?

Theresa Hunsaker: Do you know this is it really is and this is one that feeds a lot and goes very, very quickly. I can put this together and have it done in the pan in probably 15 minutes.
Regan LaFever: That's my kind of recipe right there. I love fast and easy things for a big group of people. That's great. What are other recipes that you really love to make around the holidays?

Theresa Hunsaker: You know, always for us is gingerbread cookies, the gingerbread man you know cookie, and this one is really moist and soft and tender but it holds up beautifully for frosting and people just love this one. I did this with a group of my four H kids and it was again a hit. But again it has the spices the ginger, the cinnamon, all spice and molasses. But this particular combination just turns out so lovely.

Regan LaFever: That does sound really good. I also saw you had a eggnog dip on there for those cookies.

Theresa Hunsaker: Yeah, instead of frosting. Sometimes it's nice to just have gingerbread men that you can dip in kind of this cream cheese. There's I've got two recipes, one that has cream cheese and then the other one that does have the eggnog and the cream and then you use instant vanilla putting in it along with some nutmeg. And you beat that all together, chill it and then it makes a great dip for those soft, wonderful gingerbread cookies.

Regan LaFever: Oh, that sounds so good. And I can picture dipping each limb of the gingerbread man in there and it just sounds perfect.

Gingerbread Fudge

1 jar marshmallow fluff, 7 ounces
1 package white chocolate morsels, 11 ounces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar packed
¼ cup molasses
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup white chocolate chips for garnish
gingerbread sprinkles for garnish

Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add marshmallow fluff, package of white chocolate morsels, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside (no need to mix yet).

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add in sugars, molasses, and heavy cream. Bring to a boil while stirring continuously.

Once boiling, continue to stir (and boil) for a full 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour over marshmallow mixture in a mixing bowl. Blend for one minutes, until white chocolate is melted. Pour into prepared dish.

Melt 1 cup of white chocolate and immediately drizzle over fudge (while warm). Add sprinkles. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Cookie Cutter Gingerbread Cookies

3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
10 Tablespoons (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulphured or dark molasses (do not use blackstrap; I prefer Grandma’s brand)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium high speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Next, beat in egg and vanilla on high speed for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The butter may separate; that’s ok.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and beat on low speed until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick and slightly sticky. Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap each up tightly and pat down to create a disc shape. Chill discs for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.

Remove 1 disc of chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Generously flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin. Roll out disc until 1/4-inch thick. Tips for rolling– the dough may crack and be crumbly as you roll. What’s helpful is picking it up and rotating it as you go. Additionally, you can use your fingers to help meld the cracking edges back together. The first few rolls are always the hardest since the dough is so stiff, but re-rolling the scraps is much easier. Cut into shapes. Place shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Re-roll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. Repeat with remaining disc of dough.

Bake cookies for about 9-10 minutes. If your cookie cutters are smaller than 4 inches, bake for about 8 minutes. If your cookie cutters are larger than 4 inches, bake for about 11 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. Keep in mind that the longer the cookies bake, the harder and crunchier they’ll be. For soft gingerbread cookies, follow my suggested bake times.

Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, decorate as desired.

Dip for Gingerbread Cookies

12 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¼ c. eggnog
3 TBS molasses
¼ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups whipped cream or frozen whipped topping
Gingerbread cookies, apples, cubed sponge cake, etc. for serving

Combine all ingredients, except for the cookies, in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to cream together all the ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Transfer to a small bowl for serving.

Serve immediately with cookies for dipping. Or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Eggnog Dip for Gingerbread Cookies #2

2 c. heavy cream
1 packet instant vanilla pudding mix
1 ½ c. eggnog
1 tsp. nutmeg, plus more for garnish
Gingerbread cookies, for serving

In a stand mixer, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes, then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, pour in pudding mix and eggnog. Whisk and let set, 5 minutes.

Fold pudding into whipped cream mixture, along with nutmeg, then chill if desired.

Sprinkle with more nutmeg and serve with ginger snap cookies.

Gingerbread Truffles Candy

14 gingersnap cookies , broken into pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cookie butter (such as Biscof)
1/4 cup unsalted butter , room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar , for coating

Add the ginger snap cookies to a food processor; pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add in the powdered sugar, cookie butter, and butter in a food processor until combined.

Scoop tablespoons of the mixture, knead with your hands until it stays together; form into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar, or dip in melted white chocolate or almond bark.

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.

Serve chilled or set out 30 minutes before serving.

Gingerbread Syrup (Pioneer Woman)

1 (2-in.) piece of fresh ginger
1/4 c. molasses
3/4 c. light brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup water

Peel the ginger and slice it into ⅛-inch thick coins.

To a small saucepan, add the molasses, brown sugar, 1 cup of water, ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Use in warmed apple juice for a quick wassail; add 2 TBS to your favorite hot cocoa, and more.

Gingerbread Butter

½ cup butter
1 TBS molasses
1 TBS brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice

Blend ingredients together using a hand mixer. Scrape into small decorative bowl. If you prefer, form it into a log on plastic wrap or parchment paper, wrap tightly, and refrigerate.

Store in the fridge but soften before use.

Wonderful served with pancakes/waffles, warm muffins, sweet biscuits, bagels, toast.

Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats

½ cup butter
¼ cup molasses
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
16 ounce bag mini marshmallows
7-8 cups Rice Krispies cereal or other crispy rice cereal

Spiced White Chocolate Drizzle for Krispies

4 ounces (113g) quality white chocolate coarsely chopped

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Spray a 9" x 13"" baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and allow to melt while stirring. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal and stir until well-coated.

Using a spatula sprayed with non-stick spray, gently press mixture into baking pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares or into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. You can drizzle them with spiced white chocolate before or after cutting. You can also omit the drizzle and leave them as is!

Spiced White Chocolate Drizzle

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments on HIGH, stirring after each session until completely smooth. Stir in cinnamon and ginger.

Pour melted chocolate into a large plastic bag with the corner snipped off, a decorating bottle, or a piping bag fitted with a small decorating tip. Drizzle the white chocolate onto the cut treats. Allow chocolate to set before serving or storing.

Gingerbread Muddie Buddies

6 cups Chex Mix Rice cereal-we like Cinnamon Chex
2 10 oz. packages of Wilton Gingerbread candy melts (located in the Wilton section at craft stores) Can also use cinnamon chips. I use the caramel melts…they taste amazing in this combo!
2 cups Betty Crocker Gingerbread cookie mix…if you can’t find the cookie mix use more powdered sugar and add 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. ginger, and ½ tsp. allspice to the powdered sugar. (I have also used a gingerbread cake mix—works great)
2 cups powdered sugar
Gingerbread sprinkles (optional)
Gallon size plastic bag

Pour the (2) packages of Gingerbread candy melts into a large microwave safe dish and heat in 30 second increments, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Set the melted candies aside and allow it to cool a few minutes before pouring over the cereal.

Pour the melted chocolate over the Chex mix and stir well completely coating all the cereal.

Pour the 2 cups of Betty Crocker Gingerbread cookie mix and 2 cups of powdered sugar into the gallon size plastic bag (a paper bag will work too).

Slowly pour the cereal into the bag, close and shake well to completely coat the chocolate covered cereal with powdered sugar. Add sprinkles once coated.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup unsulphured molasses
2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp salt, if using salted butter, 1 tsp salt if using unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 8- ounce package cream cheese room temperature

½ cup unsalted butter room temperature

Zest of 1 large lemon

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

5 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 to 2 teaspoons milk as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until the yolk disappears. Add the water and molasses. The mixture will appear curdled, this is normal. Mix on low 1-2 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and molasses a little at a time until combined. Once incorporated, beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Fill paper-lined muffins cups two-thirds full and bake for 20-23 minutes for until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan, then cool on a wire rack. Frost as desired.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest and vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending after each addition.

Add 1 teaspoon of milk and blend for desired consistency. Add additional milk as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Frost the cupcakes as desired. Store cupcakes and left over frosting in refrigerator. Remove cupcakes to room temperature 2 hours before serving.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

2 1/2 c. Heavy Cream
3 tbsp. Blackstrap Molasses
2 tbsp. Cane Sugar
1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
3/4 c. Whole Milk
1 1/2 c. Roughly Chopped Gingerbread Cookies

Place cream, molasses, sugar, vanilla, and spices in a large bowl. Whip until cream begins to thicken. Stop before it reaches a thickness that can be dolloped.

Gradually beat in milk and mix well to combine.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. This usually takes about 15–20 minutes for me. During the last minute or so of churning, add the gingerbread cookie chunks.

Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

Soft Gingerbread Drop Cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1–2 teaspoons ground ginger
granulated sugar for rolling

Maple Glaze

1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk (and a very tiny bit more if you need more)
pinch of salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses; mix until incorporated.

Add flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Mix until a soft dough forms.

Scoop into small balls (a little smaller than the size of a golf ball) and roll in sugar. Bake for 9-11 minutes; remove from pan so the cookies can sink / flatten slightly as they cool.

Whisk maple glaze ingredients together until smooth (it will be very thick – if it’s too thick, just add a teaspoon more milk at a time until it becomes dippable, but we want this to be very thick so it sets nicely). Dip one side of the cooled cookies into the maple glaze, run the edge of the cookie along the side of the bowl to remove excess drips, set on a piece of wax paper, and add a few festive sprinkles before the glaze sets!

Gingerbread Bar Cookies

½ cup butter melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup molasses
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt


6 ounces cream cheese softened
3 Tablespoons butter softened
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla
holiday sprinkles optional


Move oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, or in a large bowl using handheld beaters, cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and molasses until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Mix in egg until completely combined. Add dry ingredients and pulse mixer/handheld beaters until flour is incorporated. Increase mixing speed to medium and mix until well combined, about 1 minute.

Spread dough evenly into prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until darker in color and toothpick inserted comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Move pan to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.


In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, or in a large bowl using handheld beaters, cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and pulse to combine, then increase mixing speed to medium-high and mix until creamy, about 1-2 minutes.


Frost cooled cookie bars with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with holiday sprinkles, slice in 24 bars, and serve.


These will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

This recipe makes 24 cookie bars, so make sure you have plans for sharing them!

Gingerbread Christmas Pancake Mix

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal flour…or just place 2 cups old fashioned oats in a blender and blend the oats to a fine powder…then measure out 1 cup
3 cups powdered milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup baking powder
2 TBS cinnamon
1 TBS ground ginger
1 TBS salt
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 month. May be frozen.

To Make Pancakes: Place 2¼ cups mix in a bowl. Whisk together 1 1/4 cups water, 2 large eggs and 3 TBS melted salted butter or oil until blended. Add water mixture to mix and stir just until combined. Do not overmix. Cook on a hot griddle.

No Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake (The Busy Baker blog)


1 ¾ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter


28 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar sifted to remove lumps
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping


1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
caramel sauce
crumbled gingersnap cookies

Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the gingersnap cookie crumbs, and the melted butter. Mix well to combine.

Pour the moistened gingersnap cookie crumbs into the prepared springform pan and press them down into the bottom and about halfway up the sides. Set aside.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the cream cheese on medium speed just until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and mix well to combine.

Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.

Add the molasses and the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, and mix well to combine.

Gently fold in the whipped cream or whipped topping just until no streaks remain in the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared crust and smooth out the top with an offset spatula (or regular spatula).

Chill in the fridge to set for 6 hours or overnight, or set in the fridge for 2-3 hours and then in the freezer for 2-3 hours before serving. OR, set in the freezer only for 3-4 hours.


Right before serving, top with the whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and some more crumbled gingersnap cookies. Slice and serve.