...Gingerbread Cookies

I remember when I was six, excitedly biting into a gingerbread cookie I received at school and losing a baby tooth.  For the longest time I avoided gingerbread, thinking they were all unpleasant and hard as rocks.  Thankfully, when I decided to begin making my own, I found this recipe that yields soft cookies that hold their shape with just the right amount of spice.  No gingerbread house walls or tree ornaments here- unless you wait four weeks for them to dry out!

I suggest making the dough and icing the night before since the dough takes some time to chill.

Yields ~2.5 dozen cookies

-3 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp ground cloves
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ground pepper
-8 tbsp unsalted butter
-1/4 cup vegetable shortening
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2/3 cup molasses
-1 large egg


1.  Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, salt and ground pepper together in a bowl. 

2.  Beat butter and vegetable shortening until combined.  Add brown sugar and beat.  Then beat in the molasses and egg until incorporated.

3.  Gradually mix in flour mixture.

4.  Divide dough into two discs and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

5.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Remove dough from the fridge and roll it out at room temperature to approximately 1/8 inch thickness.  The thicker the dough, the softer the gingerbread will be.

5.  Cut out a variety of shapes and place onto a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.

6.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Wait until cookies are cool before decorating them with icing.