Christmas Cookie Factory: Day 11

Gingerbread men are probably my favorite Christmas cookie ever since I was a child and they would be sticking out of the top of our stockings Christmas morning. Then when I became an adult, I found Black Strap Molasses and fell in love with the intense new flavor of gingerbread men I could make. Couple that with making gingerbread men clothes out of starbursts and airheads…Oh! They are just so much fun to make and eat!

Clothed Gingerbread Men Cookies


  • 1/3 cup Shortening
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup black strap molasses
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Royal Icing (because it hardens completely)
  • Airheads, softened in the microwave
  • Starbursts, softened in the microwave
  • Mary Janes, softened in the microwave
  • Red hots
  • Rasins
  • Pearl sprinkles
  • Twizzler ropes
  • Other gummy candies & edible decorations


  1. Cream shortening, sugar, molasses.
  2. Stir in water.
  3. Blend in the dry ingredients.
  4. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
  5. Dough will be sticky so make sure you have a good coating of flour on the counter. Flip dough over periodically while rolling out.
  6. Make sure cookies are at least 1/2″ thick so they hold up to transferring them after they are baked.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Let  cool before decorating.
  8. Soften only the candy you are immediately using for a few seconds at a time until pliable. Roll out on clean surface with rolling pin. Use a very sharp knife or the shape of the cookie cutter to make shapes.


  • Mary Janes are difficult to work with since there is a peanut butter center. Once they are soft you can pull them into shapes but be careful not let the center/filling show. You can also try to wipe the filling center off the softened candy with a damp paper towel.
  • Use royal icing because it hardens completely. Use the icing as glue to make sure the candy “clothes” stick to the man.
  • Use icing and sprinkles to decorate and make patterns on top of the candy clothing.
  • Airheads soften really easily even with just the warmth of your hands so microwaving them made them too soft sometimes.
  • You can also roll out gum drop type of candies, however they don’t re-harden like starbursts and airheads so the are sticky and make a mess especially if you’re going to stack these.

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