Photo by Ellie Levy

The gingerbread cookies when they’re out of the oven and cooling. They can be iced and decorated to add to the festive feeling.

Levy’s Gingerbread Cookies

December 12, 2022

When my mother was five years old, she befriended a schoolgirl named Rachel Munson and they became lifelong best friends. Rachel’s mom always made cookies for the kids, and when my mom became old enough, she asked for the recipe so she could make the cookies for her family.

These cookies are now a Christmas tradition in the Levy family, and every year for over forty years, these cookies have been made at Christmas time, bringing good cheer and happy memories for all to enjoy. 

When I was younger, Christmas was magical. My family is half Jewish and half Christian, so the only time I would get to experience the household “vibe” of Christmas Time was when we went to visit my grandparent’s house in Wisconsin.

Every Christmas was beautiful and it never lost its splendor even as I got older. The Christmas songs, the snow and most importantly, the cookies were the best parts of the holidays. 

The cookies were absolutely delicious and tasted like heaven. Never in my life have I had gingerbread cookies half as good as the ones my mom makes. 

I looked forward to decorating the cookies every year, and every year, we made different colors of frosting to decorate the cookies. Most of the cookies I decorated were less than adequate, but it was still a lot of fun. 

My favorite gingerbread cookie related story happened back when my mom was in college, around Christmastime. She was taking gingerbread cookies to a friend’s house when she had to get out of her car, and while she was away, her car was broken into. The burglar stole her CD player and the plate of cookies, meaning that those cookies looked delicious enough to steal.

For a while, gingerbread was believed to have medicinal properties and it was used to treat stomach aches. Gingerbread might not be medicinal, but it does taste delicious.

This recipe is easy to make and contains standard ingredients and cookware present in any well equipped kitchen, so you can enjoy cookies quickly and easily.



  • 3 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Cloves
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • (Icing, optional)
  • 1 lb confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • ⅓ cup water



  • Sift flour, soda, salt, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves onto wax paper (or bowl).
  • Beat butter, sugar, egg, and molasses until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.
  • Wrap in plastic – refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  • Roll out dough, ⅓ at a time on lightly floured surface to ¼” thickness.
  • Cut with lightly floured cutters.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes.
  • Makes 3 dozen large cookies.
  • Let cool and frost.
  • For icing, stir until smooth. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing flows easily. Add red food coloring to icing if desired.

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