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Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

I love everything about gingerbread men except having to be the one to cut them out. Not a fan. I’ve yet to find the perfect gingerbread dough for cutting out, but I’ve got a great recipe for making simple gingerbread cookies. They’re big and fluffy and perfectly spicy–everything you want in a gingerbread cookie. If you really had your heart set on a gingerbread man, well, just look away while you’re biting and pretend it’s an arm or a leg.

This cookie is good eatin’ for the same reason it’s hard to cut out: the dough is very, very soft. So much so that you won’t have any success at all if you’re impatient and don’t give it a good hour or two in the fridge. But if you can just go read a book or take a walk or a nap, and forget you’re trying to wait for the dough to chill, you’ll be fine.

I thought this would be a nice welcome-home today for my daughter on her last day of school (before Christmas break). We’ll see … she had a bowl of stuffed pasta shells leftover from dinner last night and fell asleep in the rocking chair before she could try one. Maybe after her nap …

If you’ve got young children or grandchildren who like to help in the kitchen, let them mix up the glaze in the baggie for you. There’s not a child anywhere who doesn’t like squishing stuff. Am I right?

Glazed Gingerbread Cookies

Dough:

  • 1 stick plus 2 TBSP butter, softened barely
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp ginger
  • 1 scant tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

In mixing bowl, whip butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and blend well. Slowly add the dry ingredients in batches and blend after each addition until well-incorporated.

Divide dough into two rectangular-ish logs, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and refrigerate 1-2 hours until well-chilled.

Preheat oven to 325 and unwrap one log of dough. Cut into 10 pieces and lay on Pam-sprayed baking sheet, reshaping pieces as necessary with your fingers to get them back into rectangles.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until they puff up and look done. They will be a little springy in the center but will finish cooking as they cool.

Let cookies cool on baking sheet and carefully loosen them with a spatula.

Once they’ve cooled, glaze with the recipe below.

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • dash salt
  • 1 TBSP corn syrup

Mix all ingredients in a sandwich-size zip-lock baggie. To glaze cookies, snip one corner of baggie with scissors (very small) and hold and squeeze as you would with a pastry bag.

*Note: As written, this glaze will be very thin, but it will set up firmly and quickly. It sets up so nicely, in fact, that you can stack them once they’ve hardened. If you want a thicker frosting, reduce the milk to one tablespoon. Water can be substituted for the milk.

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