Karen’s Ginger Bread Cookie Recipe

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Karen’s Ginger Bread
If you follow my blog you have heard me mention my Sister-in-Law, Karen.  Karen passed away in 2005 from a very aggressive form of mouth cancer.  She is sorely missed all of the time, but around the holidays, I think about her more often than normal.
Karen LOVED to bake, and she was GREAT at it.
Her oldest son, Alex, is just three weeks younger than my oldest son. They are like brothers. 
Alex’s favorite Christmas cookie was always Karen’s Gingerbread men.
She would always make these at Christmas, and often times for my annual cookie exchange.  
I make them every year now, because they are my son, Spencer’s favorite, too.
The recipe I have is a printed email that she sent me with her recipe. 
 It contains the back and forth conversation that she and I had about just your normal everyday life. 
She was my “go-to” person when I was baking.
I was a Creative Memories consultant for 6 years, and found my love of scrapbooking when Karen and I attended our first home class after we had our boys.
My friend Candi, over at The Devilish Dish, and I started an online scrapbooking art store called Simply Scrapbooking, and I left CM. We made handmade scrapbook art.
After Karen passed away in October if 2005, a BUNCH (and I mean a whole giant room full) of my scrapbooking family got together and brought all of her kids’ scrapbooks up to date. We did this around the holidays, and everyone that helped received one of these tiny little angel ornaments when they left, attached was this little saying: 
You’re in my thoughts at Christmas,


so I say this little prayer. . .


“May angels always bless you,


and keep you in their care.


And may the heaven’s angels


light a Christmas star,


to shine on you all year through. . .


no matter where you are.”


karen angel
I call it my “Karen Angel” and she hangs year ’round in my kitchen on the cabinet knob, right over my oven.  
When I am baking, I know she is here with me.


After Karen passed, Hallmark aired a movie, based on a book, called “The Christmas Shoes.” I am not sure if you have ever heard of it? But that was a tough one to watch for me.  It is an honest to goodness tear jerker of a movie with a very nice message about a little boy that loses his Mom at Christmas.  
Every year when I am baking, I listen to Christmas music, and they play the song from the movie.
It brings me to tears every time.
I know that Karen is in a better place, but she is sure missed here.
I am sharing with you now, her recipe for Gingerbread cookies.  I don’t know where she got it, so I can’t give credit to whoever wrote it, and I am sorry for that.  But to us, this is Karen’s Gingerbread.


the alco dress

This is one of my favorite pictures of Karen.  We had gone to a wedding in Manhattan, Kansas, and Karen had hand sewn a dress to wear to the event. 
 When we got there, she realized the dress was laying on her bed back at home. 
The only place to shop in a pinch was Alco.  That is where she found this sweet little number.  
I think she looks great!! 
We sure laughed about this.

Mommas and Daddys, squeeze your babies tight.
close up of Karen’s Ginger Bread Cookies on a white plate and a snowman mug on a red surface
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe

Karen's Ginger Bread Cookie Recipe

What's Christmas without some delicious Ginger Bread Cookie's? Boring.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Additional Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Karen's Ginger Bread Cookie Recipe
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 T molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T water or milk
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • Sugar or icing


  • Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter and molasses;
  • beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and water; blend well. Lightly
  • spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour and all remaining
  • ingredients, except additional sugar or icing; mix well to form a smooth
  • dough. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate one hour for easier handling.

  • Heat oven to 350*. Roll portions of dough into medium sized balls, roll in
  • sugar (if you want them sugar coated) or leave plain if you plan to ice
  • them. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated.) Place on cookie sheet and
  • bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until set. Immediately
  • remove
  • from cookie sheets. Ice when cool. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 227mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g

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  1. Ginger bread is so good. I hate that we usually only eat them at Christmas time. Now I can make them any time I want them.

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