Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gingerbread


21.  Homemade gingerbread is so delicious.  Some gingerbread cookies are light and crispy and snap when you bite into them.  Others are chewy and soft in the center with crusty edges.  The recipe I have been using for years is from an old Hallmark flyer from 1982 called "Expressions".   It was filled with Hallmark products and gave ideas for..."Creative Living!" The advertisement was for Hallmark cookie cutters and partyware.  In the center of the flyer was a gingerbread cookie recipe of Fun-To-Shape Gingerbread Men.  This has been my most favorite recipe.  You can either roll the dough for cutout cookies or make hand shaped cookies.   (You can not use this recipe for gingerbread houses, the dough is too soft.) This year I rolled the dough to make gingerbread men and snowflakes.

Gingerbread Cookies
(Hallmark Expressions 1982)

3/4 cup shortening, or butter for softer cookies
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
raisins
red hot candies

Cream shortening or butter and sugar together.  Add molasses and egg; beat well.  Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture.  Mix dough thoroughly.  Chill dough 15 minutes.
Shape gingerbread men on cookie sheet as you  would modeling clay;  Use raisins and red hot candies for eyes, mouth and buttons.  Or, roll out on a floured surface and use cookie cutters. Transfer to cookie sheet.  
Bake 350º for 10 minutes.  
Cool gingerbread men slightly and remove to rack.  Decorate with icing after cookies have cooled.
For gingersnaps, roll dough into 1-inch balls and dip in sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake as directed above.
Decorate cookies by piping icing through a decorating bag.  

"Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth."
~Martin Luther

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