Monday, October 19, 2020

Gingerdead Man #Giveaway #Recipe #Halloween by Maya Corrigan


A gingerdead man is similar to the usual gingerbread man, but without the candy eyes and icing smile. It’s a skeletal figure with bones traced in white icing. Gingerdead man cookie cutters go fast in October. But a treat that’s perfect for Halloween is jarring in December. That’s true of the gingerdead man on the cover of my 7th Five-Ingredient Mystery, Gingerdead Man. Leave a comment on this post to win a copy of the book. 

Cookies on the cover of Gingerdead Man

The gingerdead man is oddly out of place amid the other gingerbread men on the cover. Gingerdead Man includes a recipe for a gingerbread bar cookie, which I previously shared on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I didn’t put a recipe for gingerdead men in the book because making them requires more than five ingredients (my limit for the recipes in the series) and involves a rolling pin. 

For decades my rolling pin and I have been in a love-hate relationship … minus the love. We don’t play well together, we fight, and the marble menace has bested me in every battle. Full of malice, it lurks in my pantry, dreaming of the day it will come to life as a murder weapon and kill me by blunt force trauma. I couldn’t avoid it any longer. With trepidation, I took it out to make gingerdead men.


1⁄2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1⁄2 cup molasses

1/4 cup water

2 1⁄2 cups sifted flour

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger

Other Necessities: Gingerdead man cookie cutter/stamp, white icing (preferably homemade, not what's shown in the photo), and a rolling pin.


Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl. 
Add molasses and water.

Butter and sugar ready to be creamed

Molasses ready to mix into the butter and sugar

In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the other mixture.  Chill the dought, covered, for 3 hours or overnight in the fridge. 

After chilling the dough, roll it out 1/4" thick on lightly floured parchment paper or another floured surface.
Cut the shape with one side of the cookie cutter and stamp the bones on by pressing the other side onto the gingerbread man shape. 
Remove the dough around the shapes and save it to roll and cut out more cookies. 
If you've used parchment paper, you can slide it with the gingerbread men onto a cookie sheet. If not, use a spatula to carefully transfer the cutout shapes to a nonstick cookie sheet. 

Though the dough was stiff, rolling it out was easy

Excess dough peeled from around the shapes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let the cookies cool on the sheet or transfer them to a rack. 

Baked but not yet iced 

When the cookies are cool, fill in the indentations with white icing piped through a small opening. I used store-bought cookie icing, and I don't recommend it. It has the consistency of Elmer's School Glue, which just might taste better. Make your own royal icing or other cookie icing. 

Aren't these guys creepy?

What happened when I squeezed the icing container too hard

Ready to serve on Halloween night

This recipe, adapted from one in Epicurious, makes 10-12 five-inch cookies.

About Gingerdead Man

When Santa keels over after eating a gingerbread gift at the holiday tea party Val caters, she and Granddad must stop a killer from baking more deadly treats.

During Bayport's Dickens of a Holiday festival, Val is hosting a private tea party serving the costumed volunteers, who range from Dickens divas like Madame Defarge and Miss Havisham to Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past. Santa and Mrs. Claus also come to tea. An unexpected guest arrives, "shrouded in a deep black garment" like the eeriest Dickens ghost, and hands out gingerbread men with white icing skeleton bones. Though the creepy treat called a gingerdead man looks like a Halloween leftover, cookie addict Santa can't resist it. When the man in red turns blue, Val and Granddad have a cookie-cutter killer to catch.

Read the first chapter of Gingerdead Man and find buy links at Kensington Books.

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Are you ready for Halloween? Will it be different this year than in previous years? Leave a comment by Oct 21 to win a copy of Gingerdead Man. Include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. I can send a book only to someone with a US address. Instead of the book, I'll mail cozy mystery swag to a winner in Canada. 


  1. No trick or treating this year.
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    1. We don't have many trick or treaters in our neighborhood in the best of years. This year, I expect fewer, but but I'll leave treats by the front door in case.

  2. I'm ready! My bone wreath has been on my door since Sept. 1, haha. The ghost lights and witch hats are hanging and more ghosts light up my short sidewalk. Halloween is my favorite holiday. We never get trick or treaters where we live and my daughter is away at college now, so I mainly decorate for myself. zukeeper.geo (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Good reason to decorate--to please yourself. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Since we live in the country, we have never had many if any trick or treaters. However, I am going to miss being able to go to many Halloween functions that we normally attend like hayrides and the community downtown evens. We still do some decorating. It's my way of shifting from summer into fall enjoying that holiday before everything goes to Christmas. Everything this year has been different so didn't expect anything less for Halloween. Praying that our nation will get back to "normal" with a vaccine found very soon to prevent more illness and death from this dread disease.

    Thank you for the recipe for gingerbread men. Decorated they are so cool and sound yummy to boot.

    Appreciate the chance to win a copy of "Gingerdead Man" which is on my TBR list. LOVE the cover and LOVE your books! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thank you for commenting, Kay, and good luck in the drawing for the book.

  4. I don't think there is any trick or treating this year but last year we only had 1 kid. It's mostly retired people on our street. Love the cover and cookies!! Thank you for this chance! pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment. We have very few trick or treaters in our neighborhood too.

  5. Our community will be opening downtown stores. Each will have a basket of candy. Kids can take one or two pieces. It's on the honor system. Those so inclined were asked to 'donate' candy for the evening activities. Love your gingerbread man skeleton. But. don't think I'd have the patience for it. The cookie. Yes. I'll do. bessdeepotter84 at gmail dot com

  6. Karen B
    My door and room are decorated but we will miss the school kids visit here in assisted living! Your book and cookies look delicious. :)

  7. This year there is not allowed trick or treating but I hope that the children will enjoy Hallowe'en with other options. They have been disappointed for months. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I hope the same thing. Children are resilient, so they will find a way to enjoy the holiday.

  8. I am ready for Halloween. I am thinking of setting out treats in a bowl at the end of my driveway this year. That way kids and parents won't have to come up to the door, so it eliminates more person to person contact. I just LOVE those skeleton gingerbread men! Lol what a cute idea! And goes perfectly with the book! And the book sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win! ladyofshalott03(at)yahoo(dot)com

  9. Welcome today. Thank you for this recipe. I love simple recipes. And this looks wonderful. I am ready for Halloween. Simple decorations this year. This book looks like it is fun. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

  10. Hi. Thanks for the chance and the recipe. Happy Monday!!

  11. Those cookies are so cute. I think my granddaughter would love to make them. We've been decorated for Halloween for a couple of weeks now. Inside the house and the back yard look pretty scary - or cute. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. The book looks fun! I love stories about the holiday seasons! We decorate for fall which includes a ghost or two👻👻👻

  13. Things are very quiet this year and I believe that there will be no trick-or-treating. I will miss seeing the costumes on the little ones. In view of that, we haven't made preparations for Halloween. Thanks for sharing the Gingerdead Men idea and recipe. That can be a fun project to enjoy for the household.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  14. Ready for Halloween! We will be doing a little trick or treating but not as much as in the past.

  15. Not sure how we are going to handle Halloween. It usually involves all the local kids running house to house in our neighborhood.

    What happened to yesterday's post?

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  16. I haven't done much decorating yet. I don't know if we will get any trick or treaters this year, but I will still celebrate because my birthday is on Halloween.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. We haven't had trick or treaters for years. They mostly go to festivals or trunk or treat activities.

  19. Love the idea of gingerdead men! I need to be on the lookout for those cutters

  20. Instead of giving out candy this year as house to house trick or treating is discouraged, I plan to put sticker sheets at the doors of the children on my street very early in the morning so that there will be no contact.

  21. I am ready, but not sure how many trick or treaters we will get this year.

  22. We decorate for Halloween. Don`t get any trick or treaters.

  23. In my sister's neighborhood they're not actually trick-or-treating, but they are dressing up & walking around the neighborhood.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

    1. What a great idea. People inside can watch the parade of costumes go by.

  24. Trick or treating will be very different this year in our city. They have four hours to go to houses who have a green sign from the city that they are participating in giving out treats. Houses with red signs are not giving out candy. I'm only giving candy out to my friend's granddaughters.

  25. We're ready! Trick-or-treating is still on here and shouldn't be much different. Kids are all excited to have Halloween on a Saturday this year.

  26. It will definitely be different this year. Pubic Health has recommended, and our elected officials agree, kids should not go door to door. I feel bad for the little ones.

  27. I'm not sure what my city is doing about Trick or Treating this year. Both of my kids are in their 30's. I usually throw a Halloween Party but can't this year because I will be recovering from a surgery. And yeah, that Covid stuff, too. 😒
    I'm lazy when it comes to gingerbread cookies. I use a box mix. I do have zombie cutters and have fun making those, but I like the gingerdead idea, too.
    Fingers crossed for winning the book!
    Thanks for the chance.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I hope your recovery goes well.