Makes eight 6-inch cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup dark molasses
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Seedless raisins and candied fruits or nuts
1. Into a bowl, sift 3 cups all-purpose flour. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 scant tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon each of cloves and ginger, both ground, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift the mixture. In another bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 2/3 cup dark molasses, 1/2 cup butter, 1 beaten egg, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and mix all together well. Stir the brown-sugar mixture into the dry mixture and knead until all the flour has been worked in.
2. Divide the dough and roll it, half at a time, into a sheet 1/3-inch thick. Cut out the gingerbread men with a floured cutter. Transfer the forms to a buttered baking sheet and use pieces of seedless raisins and candied fruits or nuts to make the eyes, nose, and mouth. Bake the gingerbread men in a moderately hot oven (375°F) for 12 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. The gingerbread men may be hung on the Christmas tree.
- Use ordinary molasses, not robust.
- The butter should be softened before mixing.
- Chill the dough overnight to round out the flavors of the spices and make it easier to roll out.
- If you want to hang the cookies on the Christmas tree, make a small hole with a chopstick or drinking straw at the top of each cookie before baking them.
Excerpted from The Gourmet Cookie Book. Copyright © 2010 by Conde Nast Publications. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.