I used to think gingerbread people were mostly for decorating and looking at, but not for eating. Now I think they’re as yummy to eat as they are fun to make. The texture is light and crisp, and the spice is just right. Best of all the cookies aren’t too sweet. This way, the kids can decorate the little people with icing and all kinds of candy and not go into sugar shock!
NOTE: For instructions on making gingerbread cookie ornaments, click here
COOKIE CUTTERS NEEDED: “people” from 3 to 5 inches tall
Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in the egg, then the molasses. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour mixture until incorporated and the dough starts to clump together. Gather the dough into a ball, then divide it half. Flatten each half into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or until firm enough to roll out.
PREHEAT the oven to 350 °F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
WORKING with one disk at a time, roll it out on a well floured surface to a scant 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle the rolling pin with flour if the dough sticks to it. Use assorted ” people ” cutters to stamp out cookies. Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared sheets arranging them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Gather the scraps into a ball, chill the dough as necessary and reroll a few times.
BAKE the cookies for about 11 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking or until the edges appear slightly browned. Let the cookies rest on the sheets for a few minutes to firm up, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool completely before decorating.
STORE undecorated cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
35 to 45 Cookies