TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Gingerbread
- 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
- 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
- optional: red hots, sprinkles, icing
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least I hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes. Press candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for "buttons". Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.