Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large or extra large egg
2/3 cup unsulphured molasses (I prefer the mild variety vs. full-flavor)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt until combined; set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and beat hard (medium-high speed) until fully combined, about 1 minute.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and gently press each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, or even overnight, until the dough is firm enough to roll out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin, and roll the dough out to an even thickness between 1/8 to 1/4-inch. Dip your cookie cutters into flour, shaking off any excess, and press the cutter straight down into the dough. If the dough is soft, use an offset spatula to transfer the cut cookies onto the lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch between each cookie.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies, your oven and how soft or crispy you’d like the cookies to be. The cookies are ready when they are firm to the touch and the edges are just beginning to brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To store: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, or in the freezer for several months.
- Molasses are thick and sticky but if you spray the measuring cup with cooking spray they will slide right out when adding the dough.
- To create a cookie ornament, use a straw or wooden skewer to make a hole at the top the cookie.
- To decorate, use a small tip and pipe royal icing or vanilla buttercream to create various designs.