Gingerbread cookies by Georgeanne Brennan
- 1 teaspoon plus ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup light molasses
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ to 1/3 cup milk
- Dried currants, red hots, fresh or dried cranberries, and silver dragees for decorating
- Frosting and confectioners’ sugar
1 Preheat an oven to 350F. Using the 1 teaspoon butter, grease a large baking sheet.
2 In a large bowl, beat the ½ cup butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses until well blended. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
3 Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended. Beat in about ¼ cup milk, then add the remaining flour mixture, beating it in well. The dough will be very stiff. If it is too stiff and crumbly to roll out, add 1 tablespoon of additional milk.
4 On a well-floured work surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of about ½ inch, then cut into shapes using cookie cutters or by tracing with a knife around cardboard cutouts. Transfer the shapes to the prepared pan.
5 Decorate the gingerbread people with currant eyes and red-hots for buttons, pressing them into the dough before baking, or attach them with frosting after baking.
6 Bake for seven to eight minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and spring back when pushed with your finger. Transfer the cookies from the pan to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with frosting as desired.
Makes about 16 four-inch cookies.
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Excerpted from Christmas Sweets: 65 Festive Recipes - Table Decorations - Sweet Gift Ideas. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2007 by Georgeanne Brennan. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.