Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 60 servings
â€¢3/4 cup butter, softened
â€¢1 cup packed brown sugar
â€¢3/4 cup molasses
â€¢4 cups all-purpose flour
â€¢2 teaspoons ground ginger
â€¢1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
â€¢1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
â€¢3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
â€¢1/4 teaspoon salt
â€¢Vanilla frosting of your choice
â€¢Red and green paste food coloring
â€¢In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight or until easy to handle.
â€¢ On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Reroll scraps; cut out sixty 1-1/4-in. triangles. Place triangles on heads for hats. Using remaining scraps, roll sixty 1/4-in. balls; place on top of hats for pom-poms. Gently press to seal edges.
â€¢ Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
â€¢ Tint some of the frosting red and some green. Use red and green frosting for hats and buttons. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry bag or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; insert #3 round pastry tip. Fill bag with white frosting. Pipe a band of icing on cuffs at hands and feet. Use #16 star pastry tip to pipe a band of frosting at edge of hat and on pom-pom. Yield: 5 dozen.