Last year, on what would be our mothers last Christmas, she had a Mickey Mouse Gingerbread man cookie cutter made specially for each of us. She asked a family friend with a 3D printer if he could make them for us and even convinced him not to sell them to anyone else, knowing we would have all wanted one! Sadly our mom passed earlier this year in April 2021 from brain cancer and she never got to see us use them. She would have loved to see what we made with them, always our number one supporter. Here is what we came up with.
Any good gingerbread cookie starts with a good recipe! A client had brought back Erica a gingerbread cookie for her from Disneyland that we used to dissect the flavours. Disneyland gingerbread is very unique and distinct. A different blend of spices than we have ever tasted before. I searched online and found a recipe for the Grand Floridian gingerbread cookie and found that it had a very interesting spice blend. I was partially through making the cookies when I realized that the recipe had no brown sugar or molasses!
Don’t ask me how I got all the way to that point without realizing it, does anyone else do that? So it was at this point I decided I was going to go rogue and adapt it to fit a more traditional gingerbread profile. Here is the original recipe and this is how I adapted it.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 11/2 to 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground star anise
- 1 tsp ground clove
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1/4 tsp ground mace
- Combine butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together under smooth and add in the eggs, molasses and milk until combined.
- Combine dry ingredients and spices in a bowl, whisk to combine.
- Add dry ingredients on a low speed until dough ball forms.
- Remove from bowl, if it’s too sticky lightly dust with flour and then wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2-4 hours (can be up to 24 hours)
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mat.
- Remove dough from fridge; cut into 4 sections, working with 1 at a time.
- Lightly flour a piece of parchment, place your dough, dust with more flour and place a second piece of parchment on top; roll the dough to 1/8 thickness.
- Dip the cookie cutter in flour and cut out cookies; move the cutter gently up and down for a clean cut. Transfer to a baking sheet.
- Bake until the edges begin to darken 12-14 mins; cool cookies for 5 mins of the baking tray then transfer them to a cooling rack.
Recipe makes approximately 4 dozen.
- 1 recipe of small batch royal icing
- Small sealed snack bags
- Red and green candy coated chocolate pieces or mini M&Ms
- Red food colour
- Wilton #3 round tip
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*Note- if you don’t have a tip, cut the corner off of the snack bag. Make sure to cut it in a straight line (not diagonal) so the icing comes out straight. Start with a tiny cut first.
Decorating is what really makes this cookie go from basic to spectacular. They don’t have to be perfect, it all adds to the charm of being homemade. I saw some recipes that use white and chocolate melting wafers instead of royal icing. If you prefer you can try this method.
Put a small amount of the chocolate wafers into a small Ziplock bag. Heat on power level 20% in the microwave until they become liquid. Be careful to only do a small amount at a time and start with less time when melting. The chocolate will seize (or become stiff) if you melt it too quickly. You only want to use small amounts of chocolate at a time or the chocolate may dry too quickly. To color the chocolate, add gel food colouring. I used a 1 cup royal icing recipe and semi sweet chocolate chips for mine. I found it helpful to draw out the design I wanted as a visual guide.
I decided to make little mickey mouse heads as well as the mickey mouse gingerbread. If you can find the mickey mouse gingerbread cookie cutter, the heads are adorable as well. To decorate i put 2/3 of the royal icing into a seal-able bag with the Wilton tip. Make sure it’s properly sealed so the icing doesn’t leak out the top. Holding the bag three inches from the cookie apply slight pressure so that the icing comes out in a steady flow. Slowly move your hand and trace the shape of the cookie. This gets easier as you go. Do a squiggly line on either ear and a zigzag on each arm and leg.
Using the white royal icing make two dots and place the chocolate pieces. I did green for Mickey Mouse and Red for Minnie Mouse.
Take half of the remaining icing and use red food gel to colour it red for Mickey’s bow tie and Minnie’s hair bow. Put into another sealed bag and snip a tiny hole in the corner. I piped a dot in the middle and then each side of the bow. For Mickey and Minnie’s mouth and eyes I melted chocolate chips in the microwave on power lever 20%. Next, for the pink cheeks I combined a tiny bit of the red icing with the remainder of the white. For Minnie’s eyelashes i used a toothpick to drag out the corner of her eyelashes.
Small Batch Royal icing
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 Tablespoon meringue powder
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3-4 Tablespoons water
- combine sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar in a bowl
- add 1 tablespoon of water and combine into a paste.
- add 1 drop of water at a time until it becomes the right consistency; a glue like consistency is what you’re looking for.
- keep covered with a damp paper towel when not being used
If you don’t need a large amount of these cookies I would maybe half the recipe for easier decorating. It may seem intimidating but I think anyone can do it! If decorating isn’t your strong suite start with just the heads. You could also just dip the ears in red coating chocolates like they do in the parks. We hope you enjoy making these as much as we did. We also have Mickey Sugar Cookies from the Parks you can make, too.. see that recipe here!
Merry Christmas and have a magical day,
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle
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