September 12, 2013

Rabbit-in-the-Moon Cookies

Apparently, in much of Asia, people often say that they see a rabbit in the moon, as opposed to the 'Man in the Moon'. And since these are supposed to be moon shaped cookies to celebrate the Chinese Autumn Harvest Moon Festival, which I talked about earlier in the week, HERE and HERE, I present to you:

Rabbit in the Moon cookies.

Aka gingerbread cookies with vanilla glaze.

Aka I was too lazy to attempt the moon cake recipe in the book I profiled yesterday.

But the book said it was also ok to make these cookies, so I did.

And they were very nice INDEED. Julia loved them with and without the glaze.

(note: we made crescent moon shapes, full moon shapes, stars, and leaf shapes)



1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg, separated. (i just threw the whole egg in. the recipe calls for the yolk in the batter and the white brushed on top of the unbaked cookies. i saw this as a needless extra step, so I omitted it and used a whole egg in the batter.)

1 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (i only used 1 cup)
2 to 2 and 1/2 tablespoons milk or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Mix together the flour, spices, and baking soda, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the molasses and the egg and mix well. Gradually add the flour mix and mix to a rough dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter two baking sheets. Cut dough in half and either roll out dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin, or roll out between 2 sheets of waxed paper, to about 1/4 inch thickness. (Mine tore all over the place because I let it sit out too long, so I just smushed it out flat in places with my hand.)

Lift up the top sheet of wax paper, if using, and using a circular cookie cutter or a glass, cut out circles and half moon shapes from the dough. Using a spatula or your hands, transfer to the prepared baking sheets. (if dough gets too soft, return to fridge to chill up briefly.)

Press scraps together and chill, while you roll out the 2nd half of dough. Reroll the scraps and continue making cookie shapes until dough is used up.

Bake cookies for 9-12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Prepare frosting by mixing all the frosting ingredients with a wooden spoon. Spread on cookies with a spoon (that's what we did) or if you use that extra half cup of sugar and have a thicker consistency, you could pipe on using a pastry bag.



  1. I love gingerbread cookies!!! But I never had them with vanilla glaze before. Vanilla is probably my favorite flavor so I think this is a really good combination. Now you make me hungry!

    1. I hadn't had them like this either! Really good :)

  2. I was shown the rabbit in the moon at a young age so I always see it. For a long time I couldn't see the Man in the Moon but now I can toggle back and forth. Those cookies look delicious!

    1. I had never ever heard of seeing a rabbit in the moon before I read the chinese folktale about it....

  3. How yummy and fun. You're a good mama. :)

    1. yeah! It was 90 degrees yesterday when I made them! not the most fall-like weather :)

  4. Those look lovely! Cookies in moon shapes are so nice. Pretty sure I need to bake something today...

    1. Hopefully it's not 90 degrees where you are! (see above comment) :)

    2. It's a chilly 81. Yesterday it was 95-ish. However, the need for cookies knows no season.

    3. that what my husband thinks! anytime is a good time for cookies :)

  5. What time should I come for tea, dear? ;)

    These cookies look delicious! They're so pretty, Melissa!

  6. We almost made gingerbread cookies this week-- though not from scratch-- don't hate me! But a certain 5 year old wanted gingerbread people and frosting and candy to decorate them with... all of which wasn't going to happen in the 5 mins we had before back to school night :) So-- they were abandoned!! Yours look sooo delicious!

    1. I like the way your kidlet thinks -- she's on the fast track to Christmas!!

  7. Those look like the very perfect most wonderful bedtime snack cookies ever! xoxo