Is Christmas even Christmas without some good old fashioned gingerbread men? I love Christmas baking, and have many fond memories of rolling out sugar cookie dough on the counter with my mom, helping my grandmother make pies on Christmas Eve, and even making my own gingersnaps one year (it’s not like they burned or anything . . .). Whether you are left with festive memories or charred cookies, Christmas baking is a must this time of year. So throw on some carols and try this gingerbread cookie recipe the next time you have a free afternoon! I use it almost every year, and it is perfect for making regular old cookies, gingerbread men cut-outs, and even constructing gingerbread houses to decorate. Best of all, it’s pretty foolproof so even if you aren’t the most skilled baker you will still end up with a batch of delicious cookies . . . even if they don’t end up exactly the shape you intended!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Yield: about 2 dozen
- 4 egg whites
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until foamy (use only grade A clean, uncracked eggs). Gradually add sugar and lemon extract. Beat at high speed until thickened. NOTE: When dry, Royal Icing is very hard and resistant to damage that can occur during shipping/handling.