Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best-Ever Honey Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies

The honey in this recipe keeps the cookies nice and chewy, yet they also have enough structure to hold up to any decoration you pile on them.  We'll post photos we get another chance to bake them!

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup honey (summer honey works well here, but fall honey is also good)
1/4 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk first seven ingredients together (flour, soda, salt and spices).  Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and mix well.  Add honey & molasses and mix well.  Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour. This makes a soft dough, which will need additional flour for rolling.  Roll out on floured surface to about 1/4" and cut into desired shapes. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.  To make sure the cookies retain their fancy shapes, you can freeze them for 15 minutes before baking. (nb: Cookie testers Jeff & Laurie note this doesn't seem to make much difference.)  Bake 10-15 minutes, rotating pan half way through. The cookies should be nicely (but lightly) browned on the edges.   Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring to cooling rack.  Cool completely before decorating.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies, depending on how big your cookie cutters are.

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