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Gingerbread man, woman, snowflakes and stars

Delicious and easy gingerbread man, woman, snowflakes and stars 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Swathi (Ambujom Saraswathy)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup All purpose flour
  • 1/4   teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 +1/8 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4 cup   butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup  white sugar
  • 1/3 cup  molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Royal Icing
  • 2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Meringue powder
  • 4 tablespoon Water
  • 2-3 drops rose water.

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated.   Combine everything to form smooth dough.
  • Wrap the Dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least two hours or even overnight). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface transfer and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch sheet. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies.  With an offset spatula lift the cookies onto the baking sheet, placing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. If you are hanging the cookies or using as gift tags, make a hole at the top of the cookies with a straw or end of a wooden skewer. (If cookies are a little soft, place the baking sheet (with the cookies) in the fridge for about 10 minutes. This will prevent the cookies from losing their shape.)
  • Bake for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. They are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If you want you can press raisins, currants, or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, confectioners frosting can be used to decorate the cookies. Store it in an airtight container.
  • Royal Icing: In an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), mix powdered sugar, meringue powder and water and rose water to from frosting consistency of your choice. Tint frosting with food color, if desired. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the gingerbread men as desired.

Notes

Variations: You can skip black pepper if you want and add spices of your choice.