Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gingerbread Men


3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup unsulphured molasses


In a large bowl,  whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. 

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating until incorporated.

Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F  and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside while you roll out the dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies.  With an offset spatula or butter knife, lift the cut out cookies onto the baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 inch apart. 

Bake for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. Small ones will take about 8 minutes, larger cookies will take about 12 minutes. They are done when they are firm and the edges are just slightly beginning to brown. 

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minutes. When they are firm enough to move, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, you can press raisins or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, royal icing can be used to decorate the cookies. You can also use the icing as a glue to attach candies, raisins, and sprinkles. Check out the sugar cookie recipe for my royal icing recipe.

*Recipe from Joy of Baking

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