A few decorations are simple enough for little helping hands. Reroll the dough to use every scrap.
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 large egg
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Red cinnamon candies
How to Make It
Beat shortening at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add molasses, vinegar, and egg; beat well.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; gradually add to shortening mixture, beating well. Shape dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours.
Divide dough in half. Work with 1 portion of dough at a time, storing remainder in refrigerator. Roll each portion of dough to 1/8" thickness on a well-floured surface. Cut with a 4" gingerbread man cookie cutter; place on ungreased cookie sheets, using a floured spatula to lift cookies from work surface. Press currants into dough to form eyes, nose, and mouth. Press 3 cinnamon candies into dough for buttons.
Bake at 375° for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes; remove to wire racks, and cool completely.
Christmas with Southern Living 1999
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This is by far the best gingerbread cookie recipe I have ever tasted! We make this every Christmas. I try to find a "strong" molasses for pungent flavor. We take them out of the oven when just browning around the edges and immediately add red hots for the eyes and nose. Follow the recipe for best results.
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