The Ingredients – cookies
- 3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (6 oz/185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) light (unsulfured) molasses
- 2 egg yolks
- 2-1/3 cup (12 oz/375 g) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
The Ingredients – white icing
- 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)
- 4-5 teaspoons milk
Directions – cookies
Note: This is a very heavy, thick dough. You will need a strong mixer. I use a Kitchen Aid, having killed more than my share of hand mixers on this recipe.
- In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until fluffy, about three minutes.
- Beat in the egg yokes. In a sifter, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Sift the flour mixture directly onto the butter mixture. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat until well combined.
- Gather the dough into a ball; it will be soft. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Position racks in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Butter two large, heavy baking sheets.
- Remove one-third of the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it out to 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.
- Using a figure-shaped cookie cutter, cut out your gingerbread people, trees, ornaments, etc. Carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, placing them about an inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- Gather up the scraps into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill. Repeat rolling and cutting the cookies with the remaining dough, in two batches. Then reroll the scraps and cut more cookies.
- Bake until the cookies begin to turn golden brown on the edges, about ten minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool (if you don’t, the icing will run away when you try to ice them).
- Decorate the cookies with the white icing as desired.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Makes about 20 cookies, depending on the shape and size of cutter
Directions – white icing
In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough of the milk to thin the icing to the desired consistency.
Makes about 1/2 cup.