I embarrassingly realized the other day, while talking to a friend about holiday cooking, that I haven't shared my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe with you all yet! Eek! For years now, I have been using the same great recipe to make cookies with my kiddos. They love to decorate them with frosting and sprinkles, of course! Last year, they even made some to leave for Santa. Santa was very happy and ate the whole plate they left....
These gingerbread cookies are so easy, but so flavorful. They are super moist and chewy. They make a great vessel for any type of frosting and/or sprinkles. Or, you can eat them plain! These cookies will bring the spirit (and amazing smells) of the holidays to your kitchen.
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies, depending on cookie cutter sizes
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup molasses
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated.
Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough at a time, to about 1/4 inch thick. Using desired cookie cutters, cut out cookies. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Form the remaining dough into a ball and roll out again. Cut out cookies. Repeat with any remaining dough.
Bake cookies for about 8-12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. The edges should be barely brown in order to have a soft cookie. Remove the cookies from the oven let cool completely before decorating. Decorate with desired type of frosting. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature..
Source: Joy of Baking