Gingerbread Buddies

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling


3-1/2 dozen

Updated: Jan. 21, 2023
These cookies were ideal for a winter get-together I hosted. I like to share these crunchy treats on the way home from cutting our fresh Christmas tree.—Shelly Rynearson, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cinnamon bear-shaped crackers
  • Cinnamon Chex
  • Frosted bite-sized shredded wheat cereal
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Paste food coloring
  • Assorted candies


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in molasses and water. In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a 3-1/2-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Place a bear-shaped cracker, Cinnamon Chex piece or mini shredded wheat piece in center of each cookie. Gently fold cookie arms toward cracker or cereal piece; press lightly to adhere to bear.
  3. Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, water, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. Tint frosting as desired with paste food coloring. Transfer frosting to a resealable plastic bag; cut a very small hole in a corner of bag. Pipe frosting onto cookies. Decorate as desired with candies.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Our gingerbread buddies also look sweet snuggling with nuts and candies. Awww!
  • Rolling dough between two layers of floured waxed paper can help prevent it from sticking.
  • Most cutout cookies will hold their shape better if you pop them in the freezer after assembling them on baking sheets. Twenty minutes before baking should do the trick, but make sure to bake the cookies until the edges are firm, which may take an extra minute or two when the dough is icy cold.
  • For a beautifully burnished finish, use a pastry brush to gently sweep excess flour from the cookies' surface.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 cookie: 149 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 97mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.