The gingerbread cookie encapsulates all that is the Christmas season. Just picture the gingerbread houses in their grandeur …smell the spices…put your hand in a big container of red sugars and decorate those little, festive men and you can’t help but get into the spirit of the season! This recipe has made my short list for Christmas cookies forever, and should make yours too.
1 stick plus 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 large egg
¾ cup dark molasses
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add spices, salt, egg, and molasses, then beat well. Put flour, baking soda, baking powder and zest into a large bowl and whisk.
Tip: I avoid sifting dry ingredients and instead whisk in some air which also helps combine. If I am using whole wheat flour I will sift, by pouring the ingredients through a fine mesh sieve and shaking it into the bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Separate the batter into two balls of dough (or if doubling like I always do, into 3 balls of dough) then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for for at least 3 hours.
I sometimes make it one day and then the next day we will cut/decorate the cookies. Roll dough ¼ inch thick, cut into shapes and decorate. Bake for 8-10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.
Secret: Sorry to repeat myself, but always use parchment paper on the trays to help with cleanup, as well as assuring the cookies don’t stick!