These gingerbread cookies are as much a part of Christmas as decorating the tree. Our panel loved their slightly soft texture. The dough works well for many shapes, from gingerbread snowflakes to classic gingerbread people.
Sunset DECEMBER 2001
1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat molasses, oil, brown sugar, and egg until well blended.
2. In a medium bowl, mix 2 3/4 cups flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir into molasses mixture, then beat until well blended. Divide dough in half, gather each half into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Unwrap dough. On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll one disk at a time to about 1/4 inch thick. With floured 3- to 4-inch cutters, cut out cookies. Place about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Gather excess dough into a ball, reroll, and cut out remaining cookies.
4. Bake cookies in a 350° regular or convection oven until edges begin to brown slightly, 8 to 10 minutes; if baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Pipe Powdered Sugar Icing over cookies as desired.
Powdered Sugar Icing: In a bowl, stir 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Tint to desired color by stirring in food coloring, a drop or two at a time. If icing is too thick to work with, stir in more water, a few drops at a time; if too thin, stir in more powdered sugar. Makes 2/3 cup.
Nutritional analysis per cookie.
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