To celebrate the holidays at the White House, pastry chef Bill Yosses created a 160-kilogram replica of the White House made of gingerbread. But after a month on display, no one gets to eat those slabs of chocolate-covered gingerbread. Here is Yosses’ recipe for gingerbread you can actually eat.

White House Gingerbread Cookies



  • 250 ml (1 cup) butter (2 sticks), softened

  • 500 ml (2 cups) packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 250 ml (1 cup) molasses

  • 1.75 l (7 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough

  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground ginger

  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) cinnamon

  • 5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda

  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) baking powder

  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Zest of 1 orange


1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter and brown sugar for 5 minutes. One at a time, add eggs, then molasses. Set aside.

2. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. With mixer on low, add a third of the dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture. Beat until just mixed in, then stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl. Repeat this process with remaining thirds of the dry ingredients.

4. Add both zests and mix. Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, spreading dough until 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight.

5. When ready to bake, heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Remove dough from refrigerator. Break off a small piece of dough and roll it out on a floured surface to between 3 mm (1/8 inch) and 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick. Add flour while rolling to prevent sticking.

6. Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Repeat with remaining dough. Arrange cookies on a baking sheet, leaving about 2.5 cm (1 inch) all around. Bake for 12 minutes. Once baked, transfer to a wire rack. When cooled, decorate as desired. Makes 50 cookies.

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