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Cookies | December 14, 2010

Melinda’s Ginger Cream Cookies with Browned Butter Icing


Every Christmas cookie platter NEEDS something ginger. Melinda’s Ginger Cream Cookies with Browned Butter Icing are soft, like a sugar cookie, with a little brown butter icing. Yum. Kind of like a thin slice of a gingerbread with glaze.

Sweet Ginger Brown! Grant loves to say that. Don’t ask me why.

5 from 1 vote

Ginger Cream Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Adapted from Melinda’s Grandma Butters recipe



  • 2 cubes or 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 beaten eggs* see note below in tips
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 6 cups flour approximately (I use about 7 cups total)

Brown Butter Icing:

(see tip #4 below)

  • 1 cube or 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup cream half and half or milk (if you want the icing to be thin, use milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • dash salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring butter, molasses, sugar, spices and salt to boil. Cool.
  3. Pour into large bowl.
  4. Add two beaten eggs.
  5. Add the soda/ water mixture to the batter. The batter will foam up a bit.
  6. Add the flour 1 cup at a time. After mixing in flour, add more if needed to produce dough that is not too sticky to roll out. Roll out a portion of the dough with floured rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  7. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter 2 1/4 inch in diameter, cut the cookies and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for about 8 minutes at 375 degrees. Ice while cookies are warm.

For the icing:

  1. Brown butter over medium heat in saucepan. Remove from heat as soon as butter turns golden. Add rest of ingredients. Ice cookies while still warm.
  2. yield about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe Notes

After making a few batches, I learned the following:

1. Simple cookies.

2. Don’t need to be refrigerated, but you may refrigerate after assembling the dough.

3. Clear counter space, you’ll need it to leave the cookies out till the icing is set up. 4. Browned Butter : Click here for a little tutorial. It took me 3 batches to get this semi-right. Key: patience. Don’t turn the heat up too high. Melinda’s icing turns out more brown than mine. Not sure why? I found that if I continued to brown the butter, it burnt. So, mine has little flecks of brown in it, instead of being brown all the way through. Note to me: This is not difficult, unless you are me, and you make it difficult.

5. Once you start baking, you need to make the icing, so it will be ready when the cookies come out of the oven.

6. These cookies freeze well (yes, before and after frosted).

7. My modifications: Melinda’s recipe calls for 3 eggs. I like my cookies a little more on the dense side, so I reduced it to 2 eggs. Also, added some ground cloves for a little extra bit of flavor, and increased the baking temp to 375 for 8 minutes instead of 350, to give the cookies a little more crust on the outside but still soft inside.

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    I’m Melinda’s cousin and I was surprised (but so glad) that a beloved family recipe had been immortalized online! These are by far my favorite cookies and I always get asked for the recipe, which you’ve made easy to share! Every time I make them I feel like I’m honoring my dear grandma!