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Gingerbread Men

December 23, 2010

I love all things ginger, be it gingersnaps, gingerbread, ginger cake, ginger beer (SO good, like ginger ale, but with a bigger kick), or ginger candy chews. Ginger is a great winter flavor, because it adds a little heat and warmth to foods, just when you need it most. One of my favorite winter treats is, of course, gingerbread men.

Unlike a lot of Christmas treats, gingerbread is relatively healthy because it doesn’t call for a lot of butter or sugar. It’s mainly flour, spices, and blackstrap molasses (infused with calcium and iron, by the way). Treat yourself to this lovely dessert guilt-free!

Ingredients:

-3 cups flour

-4 tsp ginger (yes, 4! I like a lot of ginger kick. Feel free to reduce if you wish)

-2 tsp cinnamon

-1/4 tsp nutmeg

-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 tsp baking soda

-3/4 cup butter or margarine, at room temp.

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 cup molasses

-1 egg

-1 tsp vanilla

optional: candies and icing of your choice (for decorating the cookies)

Equipment/Materials:

-electric mixer and mixing bowls

-cookie sheet

-rolling pin

-saran wrap

-cookie cutters

Directions:

1. Beat the butter and sugar together.

2. Add the molasses, vanilla, and egg. Beat again until well-blended.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.

4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture. The beaters may clog up, so you may have to periodically scrape the dough from the beaters as well as scrape the sides of the bowl into the mix, as the mixture thickens.

5. Once blended, form into a flat disk and cover with saran wrap.

Place the dough into the refrigerator for at least four hours and chill.

6. Once chilled, take out the dough and roll onto a clean work surface dusted with flour. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. The thicker the dough is rolled, the cakier and puffier your cookies will be. I like mine more snappy, so I am careful to roll it out thin to 1/4 inch.

7. Cut your cookies out with cookie cutters into your desire shaped. Obviously, I prefer gingerbread men.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes (over times may vary).

9. Cool on a wire rack and decorate!

Voila. Yummy gingerbread men cookies to share with your loved ones!

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