Gingerbread Cookies Recipe
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light molasses
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into chunks
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Colored sugar crystals, edible glitter, sprinkles, small round candies, and/or gumdrops (optional)
- Frosting (optional)
- In a 3-quart saucepan, heat sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in baking soda (mixture will foam up in pan). Stir in butter until melted. With fork, stir in egg, then flour.
- On lightly floured surface, knead dough until thoroughly mixed. Divide dough in half. Wrap half of dough with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. With floured rolling pin, roll remaining half of dough slightly thinner than 1/4 inch. With floured 3- to 4-inch assorted cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve trimmings. Place cookies, 1/2 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Reroll trimmings and cut out more cookies.
- Bake cookies 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
- When cookies are cool, use warm frosting to decorate cookies as desired. While frosting is still wet, sprinkle with sugar crystals or glitter, or attach sprinkles, candies, and/or gumdrops if you'd like. Set cookies aside to allow frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour. Store cookies in tightly covered container (with waxed paper between layers, if decorated) at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months.
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