It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for eating way too many sweet treats! One of the best parts of the holiday season is the influx of desserts that hit the shelves, as there are so many sugary snacks that have become synonymous with the December holidays. This year, if you’re feeling like peppermint is passé and that eggnog is outdated, we’ve got instructions about how you can put a geeky twist on another Christmas classic with our Nerdy Gingerbread Cookies!
Check out the recipe below for how to not only make the confections, but also how to customize them to look like some of this year’s most popular characters:
Basic Gingerbread Dough
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour, plus about 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- Mix the all purpose flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together and set aside.
- Heat the butter until it’s melted.
- Add the molasses, sugar, salt and mix until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Add in the extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight.
- Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut out the cookie dough with cookie cutters and bake for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool and decorate!
The cookies don’t spread much, but keep them about an inch apart.
- 1 cup marshmallows
- 2 lb powdered sugar
- Assorted food coloring
- 1 egg white
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- Fondant (store bought or homemade): in green, light green, yellow, red, blue, purple and orange
- Ninja gingerbread cookie cutters
For ninja turtles, cut out cookies using the ninja gingerbread cookie cutters and bake.
- Use the same ninja gingerbread cookie cutters to cut out green fondant (light green and dark green) in the same shape as the cookies.
- Stick the fondant onto the cookies, by applying a little water to the surface of the cookie. The water will act like a glue.
- Use yellow fondant to create the shells and brush some water on the back to stick it on top of the green fondant.
- Use blue, red, orange and purple fondant to create the masks and poke out eyes using something small and round. You can use a fondant tool or a chopstick will work fine. If you don’t have that, you can also use a piping tip to cut out little circles.
Mimi Tip: use a clean paintbrush to brush just the littlest amount of water on the cookie. Too much water and the cookies will get soggy and wet. No one wants that!
For the painted cookies:
- Royal Icing
- Black Edible food color pens
- Food color
- Clear alcohol
- Make a thick royal icing, it should slowly drip off the spoon and hold it’s shape for a few seconds before melted back into the rest of th icing. Any looser and the icing will drip straight off the cookie. Create a border around the edges of the cookie, using a pastry bag with a piping tip or just a zip lock bag with a corner snipped off. If the icing oozes out of the bag with no pressure from your hand, you have made it too thin. Once the border is complete, fill the space with more icing and use a toothpick to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Let the icing set by letting it sit out for at least 2 hours or over night.
- Pour a little vodka or any clear alcohol on a clean paint palette and using food safe brushes create colors by mixing food coloring with the clear alcohol. You’re essentially making a edible water painting. The alcohol will quickly evaporate, leaving the color behind on the icing without making the icing itself soggy. Just be careful not to press too hard on the icing.
- Make purple, blue, orange and red shades and draw the masks first, making sure to keep the sections for the eyes unpainted (so the icing shows through!)
- Using green, shape the head and torso.
- Use a yellow to create the shells.
- Once the colors have dried, about 30 min to an hour, take an edible food pen in black and draw the outlines.
Mimi Tip: You can use the pen to draw the outlines first, but I find that even after waiting to let the ink dry, the black ink will run as soon as it gets into contact with the cookie “water paint.”
Mimi Tip 2: have a small container of water and some paper towels when painting so that the other colors don’t run together. Also let the colors dry as much as possible before using another color to keep the colors from blending.
- Fondant: red, white, blue, purple, green, grey and yellow
- Silver and gold luster dust
- Black edible ink pen
- Mini star cookie cutter
- Hulk: Roll out the green fondant and use the gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out a green body. Brush the top of the cookie with water and carefully stick the green fondant on top. Roll out the purple fondant to create his shorts. For the ragged effect on the shorts, cut out a zigzag on the purple fondant using a blunt knife like a butter knife. Brush the back of the shorts with some water and stick it on top of the hulks waist. Use the black pen to draw on his hair and eyebrows.
- Captain America: Roll out dark blue fondant and use the gingerbread cookie cutter to cut out the right shape. Use a fondant cutter or a butter knife to cut off the head of the blue fondant ginger bread man for the Captain’s mask. Cut out the opening for his mouth. Cut the rest of the blue fondant to create his pants and the top of his uniform. Brush the cookie with some water and stick the blue fondant on the cookie. The midriff of the cookie should be bare. Cut out strips of red and white fondant and place on the bare midriff. Use a mini star cookie cutter to cut out a white star for his chest. For his mask, thinly roll out white fondant and create the “A” on his mask. Use white fondant to create the eyes. Use a little clear alcohol and some silver luster dust to paint the white star.
- Iron Man: Roll out red fondant and use the gingerbread cookie cutter to cut out the right shape and stick to the cookie using a little water. Use light blue fondant (make light blue by mixing together white fondant with a small amount of blue fondant) to create the little blue triangle on his chest. Use yellow fondant to create his mask and the other yellow parts of his iron man suit. I used the gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out another yellow fondant gingerbread man shape and cut off portions of the arms and legs to layer on top. Use yellow to create his mask shape. I used a small round cookie cutter the same size as the gingerbread man’s head, cut the sides off at an angle to create a sort of round rectangle. Cut out a thin rectangle at the top of the mask. There should be about a centimeter or so of fondant on each side and the cut shouldn’t go past the middle of the mask. Use light blue fondant to create the eyes.
- Thor: Use yellow fondant to create his blond wavy hair. Then use white or grey fondant to shape the helmet and the wings on his helmet, paint with silver luster dust. Use white or grey fondant to create his entire outfit in one piece. Mix some luster dust with a little bit of watered down black frosting to create the dark silver of his pants and breast plate. Use just silver luster dust to paint his arms. Use yellow fondant to create the buttons and use gold luster dust to give them a shine.
Mimi Tip 1: I find that using a little clear alcohol helps bind the luster dust to the fondant. Again the alcohol will evaporate and so will be safe for children!
Mimi Tip 2: When mixing fondant colors, I like to add a little at a time and mix until I get the right shade. You can always add more color, but you can never take any out!
- Bake round gingerbread and let cool
- Captain America: Use the same cookie cutters and slightly smaller cookie cutters to create alternating red and white rings of fondant. For the center, cut out a small blur circle and top the blue fondant circle with a white fondant star. Ake the star using the same mini star cookie cutter.
- Hulk: Take green fondant and cut out a circle of fondant that’s slightly smaller than the cookie. Cut out the center of the circle, so that there’s about an centimeter wide hole in the green fondant. Place the cut out green fondant circle in the center of the cookie. Cut the ring into three equal pieces. Place the cut pieces of fondant around the green circle in the center.
- Thor: Cut out a circle of white fondant the same size as the cookie. Using a cookie cutter slightly smaller than the cookie itself, cut out the center of the white fondant circle. You should be left with a ring of white fondant. Create the hammer by cutting out a small square of white fondant. Make little rhombus shapes for the sides of the hammer. For the handle, make little parallelograms. Paint the white fondant with silver luster dust for the metallic look.
- Iron Man: Cut out a circle of red fondant the same size of the cookie for the base. Use yellow fondant to create the mask. Make angle cuts for the sides of the face. Use blue fondant to create the eyes. Use a red edible ink pen to create the mouth.
- Fondant: Yellow, green, red, purple, blue
- Joy: Use the yellow fondant to create the head, arms and legs. Use blue fondant to shape Joy’s spiky blue hair. Mix a little green fondant with yellow fondant and roll it out. Use the gingerbread girl cookie cutter to get the shape of Joy’s dress. Use light blue fondant to create the flower.
- Sadness: Use light blue fondant to create the head, hands and feet. Use blue edible marker pen to color in her hair and draw her glasses. Use white fondant to create her sweater. For the knitted look, make thick strips of white fondant and use a butter knife to create the texture of the sweater. Use dark blue to create her pants.
- Disgust: Use light green fondant to create her head, arms, and legs. I used green edible ink to draw on her hair. Use magenta fondant (mix a little purple with pink) to create her scarf and shoes. Mix some green and a little blue to create her dress. I used dark green fondant to roll out Disgust’s long eyelashes and her leggings.
- Anger: Use red fondant for his head. Cut the head across the top to get the square look and use yellow and orange fondant to create the flames on his head. Use white fondant for his shirt and brown fondant for his pants. For his tie, use white fondant as the base, pain it with silver luster dust and make thin strips of red and place them diagonally across the tie.
- Fear: Use light purple fondant for his face, nose, eyes and the little curlicue on his head. For his bowtie, make red triangles and attach them to the base of his neck. For his sweater, use white fondant and black edible ink to create the pattern. His pants are made with dark purple fondant and his sleeves with a very light purple.
Mimi Tip: I found it easier to use the cookie cutters to cut out the approximate shape of the clothes and use a fondant cutter (or a butter knife) to cut the fondant shapes to the shape I wanted.
Painted Inside Out
- Flood round cookies exactly like the TMNT cookies. Let the icing set.
- Make the cookie “water paint” by mixing clear alcohol with food coloring.
- Paint the faces of the emotions, making sure to leave the eyes white. You cannot unpaint them!
- Fondant: brown, yellow, black, white, pink and blue
- Anna: roll out thin strips of brown fondant and braid. Use one white strand for her left braid. Make skin colored fondant by mixing a little white, yellow and pink fondant together. Make Anna’s bodice with black fondant and her skirt with blue fondant. I found it easiest to use the cookie cutter to get the shapes. For her sleeves, mix blue fondant with white fondant to create a sky blue. Use edible ink pens to draw the flowers on Anna’s skirt
- Elsa: Use yellow fondant to create her braid, just like Anna’s. Make her face using skin colored fondant a shade paler than Anna’s, I took the fondant from Anna’s skin tone and mixed a little bit of white fondant. To make her dress, mix the blue with white fondant to get a very pale blue. Paint the top with silver and white luster dust. You can use a bit of dark blue luster dust along the bottom of her dress.
- Olaf: Use white fondant to build a snow man! Use a tear drop shaped cookie cutter for his face, but use the point end of the cookie cutter to cut out small indentations at the top of his head to create his cheeks. Make a smaller round of white fondant or his torso, a larger circle for his butt and small circles of white fondant for his feet. Use brown fondant to make his arms and hair, orange fondant triangle for his nose and black fondant for his coal buttons.
Snowflake shaped cookies seemed most fitting.
- Flood the cookie with white royal icing and let set.
- Paint Anna and Elsa, using cookie “water color.” I mixed a bit of yellow and pink for the skin. Paint Anna’s cloak using a magenta or purple food coloring. Use light blue for Elsa’s dress and dark blue for Anna’s skirt. Use black edible ink for their eyes and add some silver or white edible glitter to create Elsa’s magic snow. Again, let the colors dry before using the next color.
Confession: while these girls LOOK really difficult, they aren’t just slightly time consuming. Unlike the other cookies, you can’t really use cookie cutters to make their shape, but it’s not too difficult.
- Draculaura: use pale pink fondant to make her face. Use a small round cookie cutter and make a circle slightly smaller than the gingerbread cookie girl’s head. Creat a point at the bottom of the circle for her chin. Use black fondant to make her hair and pigtails. Use a darker pink for her pink highlight and the heart on her cheek. Use a red fondant to make her lips. Use the pink fondant to make her blouse, the white fondant to create her skirt and dark grey to create her arms and legs. For her boots, use the same pink fondant as her shirt, make a pale blue heart and thin black fondant strips for the boot laces.
- Frankie Stein: Make a light green fondant by combing some green, blue and a lot of white fondant. Make her face just like you did with Draculaura’s. Use black and white fondant for her hair. For Frankie’s outfit, I kept it simple with just black and white. White the white to make her peter pan color and the top of her dress. I used black for the sleeves and skirt. For her belt and her necktie, I used white nonpareils and grey fondant for the chains on her belt. Use a light grey fondant to create stitches on her arms, leg and face and red fondant for her lips.
- Clawdeen Wolf: Use light brown fondant for her face and dark brown fondant for her hair along with pink fondant for her highlights. Use pink fondant to create her tank top and use a black edible ink pen to create the zebra stripes. Use black fondant for her jacket with light purple fondant for the fluffy collar and dark purple for her skirt. Use light pink for her socks and black and dark purple fondant for her boots. Use the same light brown fondant to make Clawdeen’s ears and red fondant for her lips.
- Cleo De Nile: Use a light brown fondant for her face and arms. For her blouse, use a blue fondant. Use dark brown fondant for her hair and yellow fondant for her highlights and crown. Mix some yellow and brown fondant to make the base of Cleo’s bandages. Then roll thin strips and press them onto the cookie to create her torso and legs. Use yellow fondant for her earrings, bracelets and blue fondant or the diamond below her left eye. Use red fondant to make her lips. Finish her with some luster dust to add shine to her crown, her bracelets, her blue top and of course the diamond on her face.
Ensure your holiday celebration is filled with delicious, nerdy cheer when you test out this recipe. If you try making your own, be sure to share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! You can find more of Mimi Takano’s delicious recipes here.