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(recipe, Sara Perry)
Decorate these cookies with raisins or non-melting candies before baking. Or bake undecorated cookies and let cool before frosting with Mrs. Neuman’s Icing.
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup light or dark molasses
- 1 egg
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until well blended; set aside.
- In a stand mixer, the beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the brown sugar until light and lump-free. Beat in the molasses until blended, then the egg, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. Turn off the mixer, add one-third of the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until blended. Repeat with the remaining flour and beat until blended.
- Using lightly floured hands, gather the soft dough into a ball. Divide into quarters and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill for 2 hours or until firm. (The dough can be prepared two days ahead and kept refrigerated.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove 1 dough disk from refrigerator and, if needed for easier handling, soften slightly for 2 minutes. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper or heavy-duty plastic wrap, set it on a lightly floured board, and roll it out until it is ¼- to ⅛-inch thick.
- Firmly press a 3-inch gingerbread man- or woman-shaped cookie cutter straight down into dough. Repeat, cutting the cookies close together to avoid rerolling. Carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or an ungreased nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 10 minutes depending on thickness. Let the cookies stand on the sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with the remaining dough disks, being sure to cool the cookie sheet before each batch. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to eat or decorate.
To make this cookie recipe your own, adjust the spiciness by changing the amount of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. The choice of light or dark molasses and brown sugar will also be a matter of your individual taste.
This recipe comes from Sara Perry's article on holiday desserts.