David and I whipped up a batch of gingerbread men and women using my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe.
I was surprised at how well David did at cutting the cookies. There isn’t one deformed gingerbread person in the bunch. If you’re making rolled and cut cookies with kids, I think gingerbread is the way to go. The dough is a lot stronger than sugar cookie dough and holds up to the less than gentle touch of little hands.
A couple tips for making gingerbread cookies:
1. Before you measure out the molasses, spray the measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray. The molasses will pour out more easily.
2. Roll the dough out on a floured cotton towel or parchment paper. The dough can be really sticky, and the cut cookies come off the towel or paper more easily than a counter-top.
3. Bake the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper coated with cooking spray or a Silpat. (I don’t have a Silpat, but I’d love one. Hint, hint Santa.) Again this is to prevent sticking, and also makes for easy clean up.
I am not handy when it come to frosting and pastry bags, so we just decorated our gingerbread people with some star-shaped sweet tarts for buttons.
Here’s the recipe we used from my Fanny Farmer Cookbook: (I love my Fanny Farmer Cookbook and swear by it. My copy is falling apart. Another hint, Santa.) This makes a pretty small batch, so I recommend doubling the recipe.
Ginger Bread Cookie Recipe
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbs butter
1 tbs milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2-3 tbs of water, if needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring molasses to boil. Turn off heat. Stir in sugar and butter. Mix together all the rest of the ingredients then add in molasses mixture and blend well. Add water if needed to make dough hold together. Roll out dough and cut cookies. Bake 5-7 minutes. Cool and decorate.