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Basic Gingerbread Cookies

  • Yield: Makes about 24 6-inch gingerbread people
Basic Gingerbread Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2003

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsulfured molasses
  • Currants
  • Royal Icing

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough in thirds, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats (a French nonstick baking mat). Set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into gingerbread people shapes. Transfer to prepared baking sheets.

  4. Cut out desired decorations and place on cookies. Press currants into dough to create eyes and buttons. To create hair, roll a piece of dough into a ball and pass through a clean garlic press. Attach hair to heads. Bake until crisp, but not darkened for about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks.

  5. Decorate with royal icing.

Cook's Note

When making very large cookies, use two spatulas to transfer cutout dough to baking sheets, or roll dough directly onto the baking sheet. Press cutter into the dough, and remove the excess before taking away the cutter.

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