Spicy Gingerbread Sticks

photo by Cathy Nelson Arkle

These skinny, spiced bad boys (above) were stand-ins for gingerbread boys at the latest Food Bloggers Los Angeles cookie exchange. I personally drove over an hour in LA traffic to get to the event, but who wouldn’t do whatever it takes to gain access to some of the best cookies in the city? And the best part of it all was for every cookie exchanged, Glad (the plastic wrap people) donated $1 to CookiesForKidsCancer.org. (Special thanks to Erika Penzer Kerekes from In Erika’s Kitchen for hosting this event and organizing the charity.)  

With a donation for every cookie, the gingerbread boys thought they would divide and conquer. You will be happy to know they were let off for good behavior flavor.

Seriously, this spicy take on an old classic was a hit in my book.  They don’t take up much space, which makes them perfect for a dessert table. They transport well and make great gifts.  To watch a video tutorial on how to make these click here.

photo by Cathy Nelson Arkle

Spicy Gingerbread Sticks
Recipe type: Christmas Cookies by Nancy Baggertt
Cuisine: Dessert
  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ⅓ cup mild or medium molasses (not blackstrap)
  • ¼ cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • ⅓ cup coarse clear or green sugar, or turbinado sugar
  • White or clear edible decorating glitter (optional)
  1. Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Set aside two large baking sheets and four 15-inch-long pieces of parchment.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, allspice, and cayenne pepper, if using, until well blended. Thoroughly mash out sugar lumps with the back of the spoon.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together butter, molasses, and coffee until very well blended. Immediately, add butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring vigorously, until evenly incorporated.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead with your hands for 30 seconds to make it smoother and more malleable. If dough is too dry or crumbly to roll out, work in a few drops of water until it holds together; if too wet, thoroughly knead in 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour.
  5. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion between two pieces of parchment into a 6×12-inch rectangle. If necessary, cut and patch to make the sides roughly even. (Don’t worry about making it perfect.) Peel off top pieces of parchment. Evenly sprinkle each rectangle with about 3 tablespoons coarse sugar and about 1 tablespoon edible glitter, if desired. Lay parchment over dough; gently pressing sugar into dough. Remove top pieces of parchment.
  6. Using a pizza cutter or a large knife, cut each rectangle into ¼- to ⅓x6-inch strips. It’s OK to leave edges uneven. Slide rectangle and parchment onto baking sheets.
  7. Working with one rectangle at a time, bake for 13 to 16 minutes or until just firm when pressed in the center and edges are browned. Immediately slide rectangle and parchment onto a cutting board. Quickly (before rectangle cools and becomes brittle) retrace the cuts between strips and cut off uneven edges. (If necessary, return rectangle to the oven; warm until soft enough to work with.) Discard the uneven, overbaked end sections.
  8. Reduce oven to 200 degrees F. When rectangle is cool enough to handle, use your hands to gently separate strips. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle with additional edible glitter. Bake for 10 minutes. Slide strips and parchment onto a wire rack; cool completely.

Quote of the Day

“Had I but a penny in the world, thou shouldst have it for gingerbread.” – William Shakespeare

I am not sure if my last penny would go for gingerbread, but I do think I would include it on my last meal request.
…and then, she paused for thought. 

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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9 Responses to Spicy Gingerbread Sticks

  1. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen December 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    These are soo cute!! I would eat them all myself :X Happy Holidays!!

    • cathyarkle December 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      Thanks Kristi! It is hard to just eat one. I suggest put half of them immediately in the freezer. I pull them out when I want a little treat… or two! 🙂

  2. Cheri Cameron Newell December 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    I am crazy for ginger… so I will have to try these treats! Thanks for the recipe! They look yummy!

  3. Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious December 22, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    These were fantastic at the FBLA cookie exchange!

    • cathyarkle January 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Thanks Dorothy, they were fun to make as well.

  4. Lynne @ CookandBeMerry December 31, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Loved your cookies and it was great to see you! Happy New Year!

    • cathyarkle January 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Thanks Lynne, always good seeing you as well.

  5. brad July 6, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Just sell me some…please! 🙂


  1. Food Bloggers L.A. Cookie Exchange - December 22, 2012

    […] Arkle of She Paused for Thought brought unique Spicy Gingerbread Sticks, not too sweet, quite spicy, and utterly fantastic.  She also brought Ginger Lime […]

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