I LOVE gingerbread cookies. They are a perfect cookie to add to a cookie exchange as they keep for quite a while. I like making gingerbread cookies at Valentines Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and of course, CHRISTMAS. I do all sorts of different shapes for different occasions. The easiest way to decorate them is to make a thin Royal Icing, so it is easy to spread on the cookie, and then add sprinkles. Lately I have been cutting the cookie dough into squares and then piping on a thicker Royal Icing. No matter what you do, they look impressive and taste great!
1 cup shortening 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/4 cup fancy molasses
1/4 cup milk 3 1/4 cup flour 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp ginger 3/4 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp salt
In large bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar, molasses and milk until smooth and creamy. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; using wooden spoon, stir into
creamed mixture in 3 additions just until smooth dough forms. Divide in half; form into 1/2 inch thick discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or over night. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling. Cut in shapes. Cook for 5 minutes, or to your desired firmness.
Royal Icing: 3 egg whites 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 3-4 cups icing sugar
In bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar (found in baking section with spices. I buy mine bulk at Save on Foods) on high sped until frothy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until mixed. If using for houses - beat until very stiff (about 4 minutes).
If you don't like using egg whites you could use 3tbsp meringue powder and 6 tbsp. water to replace eggs and cream of tartar.
Here is the recipe card....