Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe by Kim D.
READY IN: 2hrs 10mins
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • 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.
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