My all time favorite Christmas cookie is gingerbread.
They are just so yummy!
The only problem with gingerbread is that they can be time consuming to make. This year I made my usual gingerbread boys and girls, but I also did a little cheat. By making some of the dough into balls, I got to skip all the rolling and cutting of the dough, but I got the delicious flavor I was looking for.
1 12oz bottle dark molasses (I use Grandmas Molasses)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup shortening (Butter flavored Crisco)
7 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. In a large bowl mix molasses, brown sugar, water, and shortening. (To get most molasses out of the bottle. I place the bottle of molasses in a hot cup of water for a few minutes. Then dump the molasses in the bowl, and pour the cold water into the molasses bottle. Then I shake the bottle, to release the remaining molasses, and dump the water into the bowl.)
2. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together.
3. Add dry ingredients into molasses mixture, slowly. (I usually add 1-2 cups of the dry mixture at a time.)
4. Mix completely. The dough will be very thick and sticky.
5. Cover the dough, and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours. (I prefer overnight.)
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Roll dough to ¼” thick on floured surface. Cut using a floured cookie cutter, and put on to cookie sheet (either very lightly greased, or a parchment paper lined cookie sheet).
Roll dough into balls and put on to cookie sheet (either very lightly greased, or a parchment paper lined cookie sheet). Slightly flatten the balls. (I use the Papered Chef Cookie Scoop, so they will all be a similar size.)
8. Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes. (If you are using a large cookie cutter you may need to increase the baking time.)
9. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute.
10. Place on wire rack to cool completely.
1/8 cup margarine, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl.
2. Add the margarine, and milk, and mix until smooth.
3. You can dye the icing at this point, but I prefer white. If you do dye the icing I recommend using gel food coloring like AmeriColor*.
Note: The icing will be thick, but you want it that way. You can add more milk to thin the icing, but you need to keep the icing thick or it won’t get hard.
To decorate the round cookies, I used a Wilton #4 tip.
To decorate the gingerbread people, I used Wilton #5 tip.
Gingerbread cookies make great place cards for a Christmas dinner or party!
After decorating your cookies leave the out overnight to allow the icing to dry. Then store in an airtight container.
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