Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

Is it too late for gingerbread cookies? Say it isn't so.

Fine, I'm going to say it isn't so. In fact, I might just bake up another batch of star shaped gingerbread cookies to ring in the glorious new year. I think you should too. Because gingerbread is delicious.

I spent years making really bad gingerbread, because it was the only recipe I had. The dough used way too much flour and was ridiculously hard to work with. The gingerbread cookies turned out so-so, but they were such a pain to make. And gingerbread houses with the old recipe? Forget about it.

This one is a winner though. The dough is very easy to work with and the cookies come out perfect every time (even when I roll the dough a little too thick or too thin). I hate to limit gingerbread to just Christmas so I like to cut out stars for New Years and hearts for Valentine's Day, and sometimes just circles for any day. It's just the best with a cup of tea (or coffee if you're into that sort of thing) especially during these cold months.

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
adapted from Taste of Home Treasury of Christmas Recipes

makes about 3 dozen cookies (depending on size)

2/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

 In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in egg and molasses until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Gradually add to creamed mixture on low speed and mix well. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (or up to 24 hours).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes, reworking the scraps until all dough is used. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are slightly browned.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely. Frost if desired.

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