Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Nothing says Christmas and the holidays more than the warm, spicy notes of gingerbread.These gingerbread cookies are made all the more special with a touch of honey and a drizzle of lemon icing.   Use your favorite cookie cutters and the icing to add your own personality to each cookie.
And for a cute spin on your little gingerbread dudes,  wrap their arms around miniature candy canes or string a few up on a ribbon and use as a festive holiday garland.

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

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It’s easy to get stuck in our daily routines. . .seeing the same sights every day, breathing in the same smells, hearing the same monotonous sounds.  It’s also easy to forget just how diverse the landscape can be, even within the U.S.  Perhaps this is why I have a special place in my heart for Yellowstone National Park.  With it’s super volcano, hydrothermal systems, petrified forests, & glacier. .  it couldn’t be any more different than the sights & sounds I experience every day in the city.  As a matter of fact, there are certain places within Yellowstone that feel so other worldly you may even find yourself questioning whether or not you have been unknowingly transported off to a galaxy far, far away.

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing


I’ve been to Yellowstone twice.  Once on a business trip – yes, I know this may come across as a boondoggle of sorts, but really I was presenting my research at a Biofilms Symposium in Big Sky – a hop, skip and a jump away from Yellowstone.   Not one to miss an opportunity, I decided to fly in early & hang out with the river guides (hey. . .this was before the Mr.) & look for “lions, & tigers, & bears, oh my!”. . . okay, maybe just bears.

I was completely naive & oblivious back then.  I thought it was perfectly fine to go hiking up the mountains by my lonesome. . .no whistle,  no bells, no bear spray.  Sure there were signs posted everywhere that said:  “beware of mountain lions”, but every single local I had chatted with swore up & down that in all their years living in the area, not once had they ever laid eyes on these stealthy cats.

So off I went, trekking up the mountain, confident I would not see a mountain lion, or any other creature for that matter. . . well maybe a squirrel.

As I took each step I happily fantasized about how firm my buns would be after such an arduous hike & the pastry I would soon devour to counteract all those calories sacrificed.


Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing


I was taking in the smells of the crisp, clean mountain air & admiring the open meadow with its colorful kaleidoscope of wildflowers dancing in the breeze.  It was such a peaceful, serene place. . .not a soul was in sight.  I was quietly bending over so I could get a closer look at the mesmerizing beauty of the wildflowers when I suddenly heard an unexpected rustle.

“That’s strange”, I thought.  “Who else could be up on this mountain?”


Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing


I looked up &  let out a gasp.  Standing 20 feet away, looking equally startled, was a large male bear.  Like me, he too believed he was the sole creature enjoying the bounty of the mountain.

My gasp quickly alerted him that he had company of the human sort which caused him to stop dead in his tracks.  He gave me a quick look, decided my buns looked way too chewy for his taste (…see that hike paid off) & continued to dash off to whatever secret rendezvous he had planned.

Needless to say, this encounter facilitated a change in plans & I aborted all bun exercises so that I could scurry down the mountain, lickety split.

Housekeeping was jazzing up my room when I returned.  Perfect!  Another soul to recount my experience with.

As I excitedly told the housekeeper about my unexpected encounter, she was equally surprised. Apparently  this was the first reported bear encounter of the season (lucky me & my keen abilities for channeling wildlife interactions).  She also told me about a moose that had taken a particular liking to chasing men down the mountain.  The moose’s last victim was a runner, whose headphones made him completely oblivious to the gangly moose that spotted him & angrily dashed off after him.  Once Mr. Runner realized what was going on,  an impromptu game of hide & seek broke out with Mr. Runner dancing & shimmying behind a tree in the hopes that the moose would eventually lose interest in the game.  Fortunately he did & Mr. Runner made it back down the mountain while the moose ventured off in search off the next unsuspecting victim.


Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing


So in honor of Yellowstone & encounters with a feminist moose, I decided to whip up some gingerbread cookies in the shape of what else. . .moose.  I also made some doves because  “On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: two turtle doves”.  And you can’t make gingerbread cookies without making a few iconic gingerbread men, right?  So I made thee little guys but I put a cute spin on them by wrapping their arms around miniature candy canes & stringing up a few on ribbon to use as garland.  Each one got a little personality with a bit of lemon icing &, “voila”, we now have gingerbread for the holidays.

May your holidays not be filled with bear (shouldn’t be hard since they are hibernating, I think) & moose encounters.



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You might also enjoy these tasty treats from The Road to Honey (click for recipes):


Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Yield: About 4 dozen cookies (depending size of cookie cutter)

Nothing says Christmas more than the warm, spicy notes of Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing. This recipe contains honey making it extra special.


    For the Gingerbread Cookies:
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • For the Lemon Icing:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (approximate - you may use less)


    For the Gingerbread Cookies:
  1. Whisk together the first eight ingredients (flour through pepper) in a medium bowl.
  2. In a big bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter & sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, & beat until fully incorporated.
  4. Beat in the honey & molasses.
  5. Reduce the speed to low & gradually add in the flour mixture. Continue mixing until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal sized portions & wrap each in plastic wrap.
  7. The dough will be quite sticky so it is important to refrigerate overnight.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  9. Generously sprinkle flour onto a piece of parchment paper.
  10. Place the dough on top of the floured parchment paper & sprinkle a little bit of flour on top.
  11. Roll the dough out until it is 1/4 in thick.
  12. Brush off the excess flour & transfer the parchment & dough onto a cookie sheet.
  13. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  14. In the meantime, lightly oil & flour the cookie cutters you want to use. This is especially critical the first time you roll the dough out as it can be quite tacky. As you continue to roll & flour the dough it will become less tacky.
  15. Remove the dough from the freezer & cut out the desired shapes. You need to work quickly because the dough will soften fast. If the dough becomes too soft while cutting, place it back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  16. Place the cookies back in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  17. In the meantime, re-form the scraps into a ball, wrap them up & refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Then re-roll & cut. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.
  18. Bake cookies for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan & bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  19. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets on wire racks.
  20. For gingerbread man hugging a candy cane: Oil a round chopstick with a neutral oil such as canola. Place it at a diagonal across the gingerbread man & carefully bring the arms up so that they are wrapped around the chopstick. If the gingerbread becomes to soft, place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes & then wrap around the chopstick. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes & bake as instructed. Once the gingerbread is completely cool, remove the chopstick and replace with a candy cane.
  21. For gingerbread man garland: Use a straw to punch 2 holes into each gingerbread man. Place gingerbread men in the freezer for 15 minutes & then bake as instructed. Once you remove the gingerbread from the oven, use the straw to re-punch the holes as they will "shrink" a bit during baking. Allow the cookies to cool completely, then string the gingerbread men onto ribbon.
  22. For the Lemon Icing:
  23. Sift confectioners sugar & set aside.
  24. Whisk egg white, lemon juice & lemon extract in a medium bowl.
  25. Gradually add in the confectioners sugar & mix on low speed until the sugar is fully incorporated. The icing should be stiff & of piping consistency. Note: You might achieve the desired consistency without adding all the confectioners sugar. If the icing gets too thick, you can spray it with a bit of water & mix it in.
  26. Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip (I use THESE. Alternatively you could fill a plastic bag with icing & snip off the tip.
  27. Decorate the cookies & allow them to set overnight.
  28. Store cookies in airtight containers between layers of parchment paper for up to 1 week.

Note: If you are not using the icing immediately, cover it with plastic wrap, making sure that the wrap touches the surface. Place in the refrigerator. Before use, bring the icing to room temperature.

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Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Honey Gingerbread Dough.

Honey Gingerbread Men Cookies Hugging Candy Canes - Nothing says Christmas & the holidays more than the warm, spicy notes of gingerbread.These gingerbread cookies are made all the more special with a touch of honey & a drizzle of lemon icing. And for a cute spin on your little gingerbread dudes, wrap their arms around miniature candy canes or string a few up on a ribbon & use as a festive holiday garland.#Gingerbread #EdibleGifts #ChristmasCookies #HolidayCookies #Cookies #Recipe

Honey Gingerbread Cookies

15 thoughts on “Honey Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

  • December 21, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    You do have a knack for close encounters with 4 legged and non-legged creatures, Lynn! That bear was too close for comfort! The cookies are adorable. I can picture how beautiful the gingerbread men garlands would look on a Christmas tree. Have a wonderful Christmas!!

  • December 22, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Ive always wanted to go to yellowstone… well I’ve always wanted to go to Cheyenne, because it would be awesome to say hi I’m Cheyanne and I’m in Cheyenne. Lol. I’m a nerd. Anyways, LOVE these gingerbread! So stinkin cute! I LOVE the ones holding the candy canes!!! Seriously clever, mi-lady! Side note: are the reindeer supposed to be humping or am I highly inappropriate and see stuff that’s not supposed to be there?! 😉 These are fabulous and so are YOU! Warm wishes for a very merry Christmas, girlfriend! Xo

  • December 22, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Wow, what a story! First, I have never been to yellowstone (or any kind of forest and mountain in the US). I am a scaredy-cat and I always imagine that I would bump into a bear if I go to places like that. Your encounter sure reminds me that bears are out there. Bear spray would be a must if I ever go to a mountain. 😛 But who knows a cute moose would be more aggressive. You never know, right? These moose cookies are really adorable. Your drawings are absolutely amazing! These cookies are too hard to resist! Have a Merry Christmas!

  • December 25, 2015 at 11:14 am

    These gingerbread cookies are beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  • December 27, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Wow, these are GORGEOUS! You have a knack for making beautiful cookies! Glad the bear didn’t want you for lunch—yikes!

  • January 1, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Yikes! That sounds absolutely terrifying.

    Meanwhile, those gingerbread men hugging candy canes are just about the cutest things I have ever seen. I am definitely giving them a go next year.


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