Have you been on a baking binge? Tis the season! Well, here’s a recipe that you can make if your ingredients are running low. Out of eggs? Out of butter? Turn to gingerbread. Of course, there are a lot of other reasons to make this cookie – it looks beautiful, adds a little nostalgic spice to your cookie platter, and goes well with eggnog.
For me, it’s a cookie that I make every year. It’s the cookie that, as a kid, I used to look forward to getting in the mail from my grandma. I wrote down the recipe a long time ago in my middle school handwriting on a piece of looseleaf paper. This year, I had my own helper and, as we worked side by side in the kitchen together, I looked over at this fourth generation cookie baker and felt a little amazed.
The type of molasses that you choose really informs the flavor of this cookie. A dark molasses will produce a very bold type of cookie. While delicious (and my preference), it might not appeal to everyone. A milder molasses produces a gentler cookie that doesn’t have as much zing, but will probably appeal better to children (and finicky grown ups.)
1 1/3 c. shortening, room temperature (I use palm oil shortening.)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. dark molasses
2/3 c. cold water
6 c. AP flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
- With an electric mixer, cream shortening, brown sugar, and molasses together until fluffy.
- Mix in cold water.
- Whisk dry ingredients together.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/2 inch. Cut shapes and place on baking sheet covered with parchment.
- Bake at 350F for 8 minutes.
If you’d like glazed cookies, you can pour it on when the cookies are warm to make a light glaze. Dipping your cooled cookies makes a pretty effect.
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbls. cream
Whisk together and thin with a couple of drops of water, if needed.
- Cut a piece of cardboard in the shape that you want. Place it on top of the dough and cut around it with a knife. No cookie cutters necessary.
- To make large gingerbread boys, add 1 more cup of flour. This makes the dough stiffer. Display these like decorations or eat them up.