In our house, the season begins the day after Thanksgiving. I try to recreate that warm, wonderful feeling of going home…the magic, sparkle and spirit of the season that delights and inspires. We set aside a weekend to trim the tree, decorate and bake gingerbread.
I’ve adapted this gingerbread recipe from countless others to create a spicier, softer, more cake-like cookie. If I’m making them for adults, I like to add chopped candied ginger and a pinch of black pepper. Make them your own by adjusting the spices to suit your taste.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 tablespoons molasses
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
2 ½ teaspoons ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
Pinch of salt
Heat oven to 350°F. Beat sugars, butter, egg and molasses with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Reduce to low and add additional ingredients. Beat until well combined.
Press dough into ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until gingerbread is golden brown. Let cool and cut into gingerbread men. Decorate with icing, raisins, chocolate chips and assorted candies.
Christmas has always been a very special time for our family. Baking gingerbread is such a wonderful prelude to the holiday season. The sweet and spicy fragrance of gingerbread baking is one of the most comforting of the winter season.
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