Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup molasses
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Parchment paper
- Royal Icing
- Buttermilk Frosting
- Assorted candies
- Assorted decorator sugar crystals
Total: 3 Hours, 50 Minutes
- 1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until fluffy.
- 2. Stir together baking soda and 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved; stir in molasses.
- 3. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Shape mixture into a ball; cover and chill 1 hour.
- 4. Preheat oven to 350°. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a 4-inch gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- 5. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).
- 6. Spoon Royal Icing into a small zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole; pipe faces on cookies, or spread cookies with Buttermilk Frosting. Decorate cookies as desired with candies and sugar crystals.
- Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed, cutting dough with a 1- to 2 1/2-inch snowflake-shaped cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 17 minutes. Cool and decorate as directed. Makes: about 9 dozen. Hands-on time: 1 hr.; Total time: 4 hr., 50 min., including icing and frosting.