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Gingerbread Win

To fully appreciate how much of a win this recipe is, you have to understand how complete my rolled/cookie cutter epic fail status is. I mean, really. It’s terrible. I’ve attempted rolled cookies pretty much every Christmas season and usually end up throwing something. The dough is too cold to work, too sticky to handle, gets stuck in the cutter, is totally disfigured by the time it gets to the pan…you name it.

So bearing all that in mind, these cookies are a total win. It may be that I’ve finally found a technique that works for me, but if it works for me, I bet it’ll work for you. So here we go!

Standard creaming: 2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature), 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 large egg (also at room temperature).

In another bowl, combine all the spices and dry ingredients. 1 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tbs cinnamon, 4 tsps ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves. I like my baked goods really well spiced, so while I’d recommend keeping the proportions roughly the same (lots of cinnamon and ginger, tiny amounts of nutmeg and cloves) feel free to mess with it.

Then add 5 cups all purpose flour to the seasoning bowl. And stir.

Now add 1 cup molasses to the creamed bowl and mix well.

Add the flour/spice bowl contents to the creamed bowl.

Nom nom nom.

Divide in half and wrap in seran wrap. And refridgerate for at least 2 hours. Or overnight it it makes your life easier.

Meanwhile, put parchment paper on your cookie sheet. I’ve only recently discovered the wonders of parchment paper and I cannot overstate how great it is for baking. Seriously.

Once your dough is thoroughly chilled, lay wax paper out on your counter/workspace. Pull the dough out of the fridge (if you left it in overnight, you may need to give it a few minutes to warm up).

Keeping the seran wrap on top of the dough (and the wax paper below) roll out the dough until it’s a consistent thickness. How thick it is isn’t really important, as long as it’s all the same.

Peel off the seran wrap and use whatever cookie cutter you want.

Lift the wax paper to peel off each little man and put each on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet

You’re going to have a bunch of leftover scraps. You could eat them, or you could get more cookies out of them. Your call.

If you want more cookies, ball them back up, roll them up and repeat! I got one good re-roll out of the dough before it had to go back in the fridge and re-chill.

I don’t recommend using wax paper on the top layer, this attempt was a fail. Stick with seran wrap.

Cookies on a pan. Poor warped man on the bottom right.

Baked 11 minutes at 350. Since the dough is already brown, it can be hard to tell when they’re done. I prefer softer cookies, so I always err on the early side.

The ones pictured are a little gunked up because I stacked them when they were still warm. Don’t do that.

I brought most of these to a group of high school kids I work with and even sans icing or decoration of any kind, they were GONE.

Tools:
2 mixing bowls
Parchment paper
seran wrap
wax paper
cookie sheet
rolling pin (or wine bottle, or vase, whatever you have that’s uniformly cylindrical)
cookie cutter of your choice

Ingredients:
1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 tsps ginger
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
5 cups all purpose flour

1. Combine wet ingredients until well mixed
2. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients
3. Gradually mix dry ingredient mix into wet ingredient bowl
4. Split dough in half, wrap each half in seran wrap and refridgerate for at least 2 hours
5. Place chilled dough on wax paper, using seran wrap to form a top layer
6. Roll dough to uniform thickness, between wax paper and seran wrap
7. Use your choice of cookie cutter
8. Place cut cookies on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet
9. Ball and re-roll remaining scraps, repeat steps 6-8
10. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes or until firm
11. Cool and decorate, if you’re cooler than me.

I think I’m going to try this recipe for gingerbread house pieces, will report back!