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Slice and Bake Ginger Wafers Recipe

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The best slice and bake ginger wafers are easy gingerbread cookies that you can prepare in advance then slice and bake for the holidays! With the perfect amount of ginger spice and molasses, they are flavorful soft cookie. 

 

If you love baking Christmas cookies but have run out of time (or patience) to roll then cut-out gingerbread cookies, these slice and bake ginger wafers are the perfect holiday to make!

Instead of a drop cookie, the refrigerator cookies are chilled until firm then just slice-n-bake as needed for holiday parties and cookie trays.

Why You Will Love Icebox Gingerbread Cookies

  • Easy to make: Make the ginger wafer dough, chill it and then slice and bake as needed. No need to roll it out and cut with a cookie cutter. 
  • Make ahead: The best part of icebox cookies is that you can make the dough months in advance and store it in the freezer until ready to bake. 
  • Flavorful: These gingerbread cookies have the best festive flavor for the holiday season just like my favorite gingerbread cake!

Slice and Bake Ginger Cookies Ingredients

  • Butter: Room temperature butter is best. If using unsalted butter, adjust added salt to ¼ teaspoon. 
  • Brown sugar: Lightly packed brown sugar adds a sweet taste to the cookies. 
  • Molasses: A signature ingredient for gingerbread! It adds bold flavor and sweet taste.
  • Egg: One room temperature egg adds moisture and binding. 
  • Warm spices: Ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves. 
  • Orange zest: Adds the perfect complimentary taste to the ginger flavors. 
  • All-purpose flour: Flour with at least 11% protein to add structure to the cookies.
  • Orange glaze: Powdered sugar and fresh orange juice. 
Ingredients for the recipe.

How to Make Slice and Bake Ginger Wafers

To start in the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. 

Beating the wet ingredients.

Add the egg, ginger, zest, salt, cinnamon and cloves then beat to combine. Add the flour and combine. 

Mixing in the dry ingredients.

Move gingerbread cookie dough to a flat surface and gently knead to form a dough. Divide dough in half and form each into a log. Wrap in plastic and chill.

Roll the dough into two logs.

Slice the logs into inch slices, place on the prepared baking sheet and bake the cookies.

The cookie slices on the baking sheets before and after baking.

Cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool completely before drizzling with orange glaze or dipping in white chocolate.

Cookies on a wire rack.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Roll in sugar: Before slicing, roll the cookie dough log in natural cane sugar, turbinado sugar or demerara sugar. 
  • Spices: Typical gingerbread spices include ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Other warm spices including nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, mace or black pepper could also be added. 
  • Candied ginger: Add some additional ginger flavor by adding diced crystallized ginger into the ginger wafer cookie dough. 
  • Lemon: Instead of orange zest and glaze, try a lemon zest with a vanilla glaze. 
  • Add-ins: Chopped nuts or white chocolate chips would be delicious mix-ins! 
  • Dipped cookies: Instead of an orange glaze, dip half the cookies into white chocolate. 

Recommendation

If you are using the orange cream glaze, I recommend using a little less of the ground cloves. For some reason the glaze brings out a stronger flavor of the cloves than the white chocolate.

Baking Tips

  • Type of molasses: You want unsulphured baking molasses, not blackstrap molasses which will add a bitter taste. You may find this called fancy molasses or if in Great Britain try black treacle. 
  • Dough must stay cold: This not only helps you slice them before baking but it also helps the cookies retain their shape while baking. 
  • Maintaining a round shape: Since this dough can be quite soft, it may flatten as you store it. Before slicing, roll the log back and forth into the round shape again. As you slice the ginger pennies, roll the dough away from you slightly to prevent it from flattening. 
  • Check for doneness: It can be hard to know when gingerbread cookies are done baking. Look for the edges and surface of the cookies to be set and just starting to brown on the edges. 
  • Crispy gingersnaps: If you like a crispier ginger wafer, bake for the full 14 minutes. For soft chewy ginger molasses cookies, remove cookies from the oven at only 10 minutes. 
Dipped wafer cookies on brown paper.

Recipe FAQs

What is an icebox cookie?

Icebox cookies are slice and bake cookies! The dough is a butter based dough and made by creaming butter and sugar together with other ingredients, forming the dough into logs and then instead of dropping the cookies on cookie sheets, it is stored in the refrigerator or freezer before slicing and baking. The term icebox is an old-fashioned name for the refrigerator! 

Why did my gingerbread cookies spread while baking?

The most likely reason for ginger wafers spreading while baking is that your dough was not chilled enough. Other reasons could include you measured your butter, sugar or flour wrong. 

What is the best way to keep these ginger cookies soft?

For soft ginger wafers, underbake them slightly as they will continue to bake as they cool. When storing cookies, you can also add a slice of bread or a marshmallow to the container to help keep the ginger cookies soft. 

How to store and freeze cookies?

Unbaked icebox cookie dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store in a freeze safe bag. Thaw dough in the refrigerator so it remains cold, then slice and bake as directed.

Baked cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or two. You can also freeze baked cookies in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. 

Wafer cookies on a white plate.

If you are looking for a delicious and easy addition to your holiday cookie tray then I hope you try these Slice and Bake Ginger Wafers. Enjoy!

  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 pinch salt (if you use unsalted butter then ¼ tsp of salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (at least 11% protein)

ORANGE GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice

EXTRAS

  • 4-5 ounces white chocolate melted

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Beat the butter, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy 1-2 minutes, add the egg, ginger, zest, salt, cinnamon and cloves, beat to combine, add the flour and combine. (dough will be stiff). Move to a flat surface gently knead to form a dough, divide in half and form each into a 8 inch log, Wrap in plastic and chill 4-5.

  • Pre heat oven to 350F / 180C. Slice into ¼ inch slices, place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake 10-14 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Drizzle with an orange glaze or dip half the cookie in melted white chocolate if desired. Enjoy!

If you are using the orange cream glaze, I recommend using a little less of the ground cloves. For some reason the glaze brings out a stronger flavor of the cloves than the white chocolate.
Unbaked icebox cookie dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store in a freeze safe bag. Thaw dough in the refrigerator so it remains cold, then slice and bake as directed.
Baked cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or two. You can also freeze baked cookies in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. 

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 64IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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