5 Steps To Creating Amazing Gingerbread People

There’s nothing like cookie-making to get your fam in the holiday spirit! We’ve got a supply list, setup tips, and of course, all the simple how-tos for turning those blank slates into bona fide personalities. Don’t forget to take pictures and share ’em with us on Instagram using #howwefun!  
Aaron Dyer

Step One

Make Your Cookies! This delicious gingerbread recipe is great for cutouts. 

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 egg
½ cup milk

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking powder, salt, white pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and molasses with an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth and combined. Add half the flour mixture; beat until just combined. Add milk; beat until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture; beat until just combined. Using your hands, knead dough until smooth; divide in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 350°F. Roll each dough half on parchment paper into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Use a cookie cutter (ours was 5 inches tall, for easier decorating) to cut out cookies, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, rerolling scraps until all the dough is used.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven. Cool on a wire rack.

Step Two

Decide On Decorations! This is everything we used to create all the cookies’ features, clothes, and accessories! Pick and choose what you’ll need to create your own sweet treats. 

  • Airheads
  • Airheads Soft Filled Bites
  • Ball sprinkles
  • Black licorice lace
  • Blackberry candies
  • Bubblegum tape
  • Candy buttons
  • Candy canes (mini)
  • Candy eyes (mini)
  • Chiclets
  • Classic sprinkles
  • Coarse sugar
  • Coconut (shredded)
  • Confetti sprinkles
  • Crown sprinkles
  • Flower sprinkles
  • Food writers
  • Frosting
  • Gem sprinkles
  • Gumdrops
  • Gummy bears
  • Gummy grapefruit slices
  • Heart sprinkles
  • Hershey’s Nuggets
  • Licorice twists
  • Mike and Ikes
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Mustache sprinkles
  • NECCO wafers
  • Nonpareil sprinkles
  • Pearl sprinkles
  • Skittles
  • SNO-CAPS
  • Sour belt candy
  • Star sprinkles
  • Starbursts
  • Tic Tacs
  • Tootsie Roll

Step Three

Gather Your Tools! These supplies will help you and the kids get pro results.

  • Tweezers to place tiny pieces; get ’em at the dollar store!
  • Mini rolling pin for rolling out gumdrops and fruit chews.
  • Craft scissors for cutting candy once it’s rolled; clean them in the dishwasher first. 
  • Toothpicks for making impressions or tiny dots of frosting to attach sprinkles.
  • Craft sticks for spreading frosting.
  • Zip-top bags to pipe on frosting details (just snip the tip) and/or piping bags fitted with icing tips.
  • Wax paper to make clothing templates (more on that in step four!) 
  • Baking cups and sheets to keep supplies organized and contained.

Step Four

Customize Your Ginger-People! Use these techniques to transform candies into super-cool cookie decorations.

Hair

  • Attach candies—like blackberry gummies, SNO-CAPS, shredded coconut, or Skittles—directly to the cookie with frosting.
  • Trim bubblegum tape into a shape and attach with frosting. (Kids can even draw a design on it with a food writer and cut it out with craft scissors.)
  • Pipe it on, using a simple writing tip or a grass tip.
  • Roll out Starburst, gumdrops, or Tootsie Rolls on a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar (for Starbursts and Tootsie Rolls) or granulated sugar (for gumdrops) until they’re flattened. Kids can trace the shape they want onto the candy with a food writer and then cut it out with scissors. Attach to the cookie with frosting. 

Eyes

  • Use a black food writer to draw pupils onto white confetti sprinkles. (You can also use the marker to add extra details directly on the cookie, like eyebrows or lashes.)
  • Attach candy eyes (buy the smallest size) with frosting.
  • Draw them directly onto the cookie with a food writer. 

Mouths

  • Draw them directly onto the cookie with a food writer.
  • Use a sprinkle, attached with icing. Classic pink ones work, or try a specialty mustache sprinkle! Or add a heart-sprinkle “kiss.”
  • Attach a candy with frosting, like a trimmed piece of a pink Airheads Soft Filled Bites. 

Clothes

  • Use frosting and sprinkles. Start by drawing the outline of what you want onto the cookie with a food writer. Then go over that line with icing in a piping bag, and fill in the whole thing with that same icing. Add decorative sprinkles, either covering the whole area or just as a border.
  • Use food writers to draw clothes directly onto the cookie or to add details to rolled-out candies.
  • Add trimmed candies, attached with frosting, such as Airheads Soft Filled Bites for a vest, candy sour belt for suspenders, or cut-up licorice twists as a skirt.
  • Make templates by tracing the gingerbread cookie cutter onto wax paper; have kids draw on the clothes they want. Then they can cut out the shape and use a food writer to trace it onto rolled-out candy like Airheads, fruit chews, and Tootsie Rolls. Cut those out and attach to the cookies with frosting, and add details with piped icing, sprinkles, food writers, and more.
  • Use special icing tips, such as a flat tip, to add details like a tutu. 

Feet

  • Attach candies such as Tic Tacs and NECCO wafers to the feet with frosting.
  • Spread on a thin layer of frosting using a craft stick. Add details with sprinkles, if you like.
  • Make shoes out of rolled-out gummy candies, fruit chews, and Airheads. Add sprinkles with frosting, for details.
  • For bare feet, add toes with a black food writer.

Step Five

Add Accessories! Need a purse for Grandma’s tissues? Or mittens for the cold weather? Attach these extra-special add-ons with dabs of frosting.

  • Necklace
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Pearl and gem sprinkles

  • Purse
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Hershey's Nuggets, Tootsie Roll, flower and pearl sprinkles

  • Bow
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Heart and confetti sprinkles

  • Gift
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Starburst and gumdrop

  • Winter Hat
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Starburst and candy button

  • Mitten
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Gumdrop

  • Phone 
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Gem sprinkle, Chiclet, gold confetti sprinkle, frosting

  • Microphone
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Mike and Ike, nonpareils, licorice lace, frosting

  • Scarf
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Sour belt candy

  • Ice Skates
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Airheads, sprinkles, gummy grapefruit slice

  • Belt
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Tootsie Roll, frosting

  • Sunglasses
Aaron Dyer

What You'll Need: Frosting, chocolate chips

Family Fun

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