Gingerbread Men

Total Time:
3 hr 55 min
Prep:
45 min
Inactive:
3 hr
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
24 cookies
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Royal icing, for decorating
Directions
  • Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and allspice into a medium bowl; set aside. Melt the butter and shortening in a medium saucepan; remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and molasses. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.

  • Add the egg to the butter mixture; beat with a mixer on medium speed until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the flour mixture in two additions until just combined. Divide the dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap and pat into 1/2-inch-thick disks. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

  • Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface, dusting with flour as needed. Cut out gingerbread men with a 3 1/2- to 5-inch cookie cutter and arrange 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush off the excess flour and refrigerate the cutouts 15 minutes.

  • Bake the cookies until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 3 to 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Decorate with royal icing and let harden at room temperature, about 1 hour.

  • Photograph by Ralph Smith


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