Gingerbread Cookies

Fail-ProofGingerbreadcookies

 

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In order to understand my love of cookies it is easy. It falls perfectly into my “love language” which is giving. There is nothing that says I love you than a batch of fresh cookies out of the oven. I know, you don’t have time to bake, your busy, and the store bought version are so professional. I get it. But these are almost a fail safe cookie dough recipe. It can be frozen, rolled and rolled by little kids with too much flour and still taste great.

These cookies are great any time of the year. I bake these at Thanksgiving as well, and use fall-leaf cookie cutters. Be creative! You can decorate these cookies to your hearts content. Roll out the dough at ½ inch for thicker cookies or ¼ inch for crisper cookies. I make an easy powder sugar frosting that sets well. You can use all kinds of embellishments on these from sprinkles to decorative frosting tubes.

There are a few rules. One, be sure the butter is at room temperature (in other words soft), and two be sure to use unbleached white flour. That is my key to cookies that taste great, have a chewy density (unless you want crisp – bake them longer), and turn out great. Another secret is my mixer, the [easyazon_link asin=”B005Z2L3L8″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”ultihomeradin-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]KitchenAid KP26M1PSL Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer, Silver[/easyazon_link]In 35 years of marriage I’ve gone through two of them, and now I have the professional model – no surprise! If you don’t have one, add it to your Christmas list or save up to get one. It is well worth it.

This recipe has been tweaked during the years and perfected and hardly resembles it’s original which came from the Better Homes and Gardens recipe. I didn’t like some of their additions so I left them out and liked my version better. Here is the original recipe.

My version of the Best Gingerbread Recipe Ever!

Ingredients:

5-cups of unbleached white flour

1 cup plus 2-T of butter (soft)

1 cup of sugar

1 ½ t. of baking soda

½ t. of salt

¾ cups of molasses (light)

1 ½ t. of cinnamon

2 ½ t. of ginger

¾ t. of cloves

Cream the butter, sugar and molasses together until light and fluffy. Place the 5-cups of flour in a another bowl, pre-measured and add baking soda and salt and mix with a fork. If you are a purest, you may wish to sift the baking soda, salt, and flour. Set aside. Add all of the spices to the butter/sugar mixture and stop the mixer and run your spatula around the bottom of the bowl. It is best to stop the mixer when you add the spices or some of it may be blown away by the air circulating with the mixer blades. [Ask me how I know!] Add cup fulls of flour until it is all incorporated in the dough. The dough should be soft to the touch and leave a fingerprint mark when you touch it lightly. If it is too stiff you can add another spoonful or two of molasses, until it gets to the right consistency. That is why I recommend you add the flour in cupfuls so you can check this dough.

Roll out the dough at ½ inch for thicker cookies or ¼ inch for crisper cookies. Bake at 350 for approx 8-12 min. Adjust time to match your oven.

Frosting: 2 cups of powdered sugar and ¼ cup of milk or water. Do not add all of the liquid at once. Mix in a bowl with a fork, the kids love making this. Add a 1/8 of a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This sets very well, use a frosting spatula or butter knife to frost. I add a thin layer, the kids glob frosting on. Either way they are yummy. Let the frosting dry and then these can be decorated with frosting pens. If you want to add chocolate chip buttons to each cookie, or sprinkles do so while the frosting is wet.

Now you can bag and freeze the dough. I double this recipe and my KitchenAid mixer can handle the load. Then I split the dough in two freezer bags until I’m ready to bake. I normally make my cookie dough in November to use in December. One last thing to do during the busy holidays! Besides, these cookies are great using cut outs so I make them at Thanksgiving time as well. Enjoy!

Note: t. stands for teaspoon ; T stands for tablespoon

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