the perfect gingerbread for all cookies!

When trying to find a good gingerbread cookie recipe, it’s often hard to navigate the scene to find the EXACT recipe that you need. Sweet, spicy, soft, crispy, etc… everyone has their favorite way around it. Whenever I make rolled dough cookies though, I seem to gravitate towards recipes that allow me to make “different” cookies but all with the same batch of dough. It saves the cookie jar from the monotony of 1 type of cookie… and it makes the whole baking process a bit more fun as well!

I came across the perfect recipe that really takes care of all of my needs thanks to this month’s Sunset Magazine – and I can verify that it is yummy to boot!

makes: 100 cookies

1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each ground cloves, nutmeg, and freshly ground black pepper

1. Beat butter and brown sugar together in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until well blended. Mix in molasses, then egg, until blended, scraping bowl as needed.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to butter mixture on low speed, mixing until combined.
3. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm (about 3 hours).
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dough. On a generously floured surface, roll out each disk 1/8 in. thick. Using round or square 2 1/2-3″ cookie cutters, cut out dough and arrange circles 1″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (use a small spatula to transfer). Reroll scraps as needed.
5. Bake cookies until dry-looking and just starting to brown on edges, about 8 minutes. Let cookies cool in pans on racks.

Twists on the recipe:

Gingersnap ice cream sandwiches:

Prepare gingersnaps (as above). Scoop about 2 tbsp. of caramel or vanilla ice cream onto the flat side of 1 cookie and sandwich with another cookie. Freeze airtight until firm.

(photo above shows sugar and spice cookies mixed with normal gingersnap stars)
Sugar and spice dusted cookies:

Prepare gingersnaps (as above) through step 3. In a bowl, mix 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 cup granualted sugar. Pull off dough in 1 tbsp. portions from disk, roll each into a ball, and drop into sugar mixture. Swirl to coat in batches of 3 to 4, then transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake as directed.

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