Christmas baking is in full swing here . I've been making Italian Anise cookies, and batches of those beautiful Sugar Roasted walnuts and almonds from Maria's recipe - apple gingerbread, and chunky double chocolate cookies with ginger and/or pecans. But I have to say my favorite cookie for Christmas is the plain and simple, but spicy and fragrant gingerbread cookie from an old edition of The New York Times cookbook. It reminds me of those lovely Carl Larsson paintings of Swedish Christmases, and the modest Christmases of the Little House on the Prairie books I loved so much as a child. It holds up well to decorating, though I'm sadly lacking in the decorating skills department. It travels well, which is handy in this day of uncertain mail delivery times. You can dunk it, decorate it, fluff it up with whipped cream ( or ice cream), or nibble slowly on one corner of the star, enjoying the flavor of cloves and cinnamon, ginger and molasses.
Fit two baking sheets with foil or parchment.
2/3 cup (11 T.) unsalted, room temperature butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup molasses
3 cups King Arthur flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, spices, and salt.
Add the egg and mix, then add the molasses and mix again.
Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until the dough forms a ball of sorts.
Remove dough from bowl, and pat into a disk. Chill for at least an hour. ( I keep this dough ready to go in the fridge, so I can bake up cookies when I need them)
Take out the chilled dough and set oven to 350F.
Roll the dough out to about 1/3 inch or less and cut with cookie cutters, dipping cutters into flour lightly every once in a while so it won't get too sticky.
Place cookies on sheet, 2 inches apart. Place first sheet in oven and bake for about 9 minutes.( your time will depend on thickness of dough and size of cutters)
Remove cookie sheet to cooling rack for ten minutes, then remove cookies to another cooling rack. When completely cooled, decorate as you wish.
This recipe made about two dozen cookies, using a medium-large star cutter.
Featured on TateSpotting!