Recipe by Kim D.
These are absolutely the best gingerbread cookies I have ever tried.
Top Review by BeachGirl
Delicious! Soft dough handles well after chilling (Step7-8) - I refrigerated dough overnight. Step 6 make them very easy to roll to 1/4-inch thickenss after dough was chilled. I used a 3-inch gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter, and recipe made 48 gingerbread, and about 20 (1-1/2") smaller men I cut from the scraps. I cooked them a little longer than stated, as we like gingerbread men crunchy. Next time I'll add more ginger, etc. to suit out taste (guess I was thinking gingersnaps). I froze cookes and will ice them just before placing in clear decorated bags to include in gift baskets. (Thus I can't comment on icing yet.) Mean, thanks for a delicious recipe that works well, even for a novice.
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon clove
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 lb unsalted butter
- 2⁄3 cup light brown sugar or 2⁄3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2⁄3 cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 lb confectioners' sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 drop lemon juice or 1 drop vinegar
- food coloring, if desired
Directions See How It's Made
- For the dough, sift the dry ingredients (except sugar) into a mixing bowl and stir or whisk well to combine.
- Beat the butter and sugar by machine and beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Continue beating until the mixture is smooth, scraping down often.
- Beat in half the flour mixture, then stop and scrape down the bowl and beaters.
- Beat in the molasses, scrape again, and beat in the remaining flour mixture, just until combined.
- Divide the dough into several pieces and press each piece into a rectangle slightly more than 1/4" thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (this step is important).
- Chill the dough for at least 1 hour or until firm.
- Can be left overnight or frozen at this point.
- Set racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll the dough, one piece at a time, on a floured surface just to make the dough flat and even but not much thinner.
- The cookies should be 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut with floured cutters and arrange on the pans at an inch or two apart, to make room for expansion during baking.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Re-roll the scraps immediately or press together, chill and re-roll later.
- Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until firm when pressed with a fingertip.
- (They won't have much extra color and should dent slightly when touched).
- Cool the cookies on pans a minute or two, then transfer to racks.
- Meanwhile, for the icing, combine the confectioner's sugar and egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat by machine until combined.
- Add the lemon juice or vinegar and continue beating till fluffy.
- Divide the icing into several small bowls and add the coloring.
- Keep plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the icing to prevent a crust from being formed.
- Use a pastry bag or spread icing on cookies to decorate.
- Use raisins, currants and other decorative sweet bits for extra garnish.
- If you'd like to use the cookies to hang on a Christmas tree, make a small hole near the top of the cookie as soon as they come out of the oven so you can get a narrow ribbon or string through.
- Variation: Cut round cookies and sandwich them with some heated apricot jam.
- The variations are endless.