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Cherry-filled gingerbread man tarts

Sandra Denneler is a SheKnows Expert who's been making and doing her entire life. Growing up, her favorite book was the 1973 World Book Encyclopedia's Childcraft Volume 11, Make and Do. An art director at Wichita State University, Sandra...

Get cheery and cherry this season!

Everyone's Christmastime favorite — the gingerbread man — just got even more cheery. And cherry.

Get cheery and cherry this season!

These gingerbread tarts are filled with delicious cherry pie filling, making them handheld pockets of holiday happiness.

Cherry-filled gingerbread man tart recipe

Yields 6


  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cherry pie filling (pureed) or cherry preserves (or any other filling you'd like)
  • Candies & icing to decorate



Prepare the dough

In a food processor, mix together flour, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking powder. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Blend in food processor until the crumbs resemble cornmeal. (If you don't have a food processor, you can also mix all the ingredients in a bowl by hand or with a pastry cutter.)

Drizzle the molasses and water over the dough, mixing with your fingertips until the crumbs of dough begin to cling together. Knead into a ball.


Shape the dough

Dust your countertop and rolling pin with flour, and roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut 6 gingerbread men from the dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Get cheery and cherry this season!

Roll leftover dough to 1/8-inch thickness again and cut at least 3 rectangles, slightly larger than the size of your cookie cutter. Set aside.

Get cheery and cherry this season!


Fill the cookies with cherry preserves

Fill a piping bag or zip-close bag (with the corner cut off) with pureed cherry pie filling or cherry preserves. Pipe the filling onto the cut-out gingerbread man shapes.

TIP: You need to use a filling that has been pureed or finely chopped. Whole cherries or large chunks will make the gingerbread men will look very lumpy and bumpy after they are baked.

Get cheery and cherry this season!


Close up your cookies

Working one tart at a time, wet the edges of the gingerbread man.

Get cheery and cherry this season!

Place one rectangle of dough over the filling-piped gingerbread man and press lightly around the shape to seal the filling and adhere the two dough pieces.

Get cheery and cherry this season!

Using your cookie cutter, place it over the outline of the filled gingerbread man and press down to seal and cut. Remove any extra dough and keep it to roll out 3 more rectangles later.

Get cheery and cherry this season!

Repeat this process until you've made all 6 gingerbread man tarts.


Bake your cookies

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes.


Decorate your gingerbread men

Decorate as you wish with candies and icing. For the eyes and mouth, we used a black food coloring marker. For the hearts, we used cherry Airheads candy. And for arm and leg decorations, we used royal icing.

Get cheery and cherry this season!

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