and so it begins... along with paying the rent, the first of December brings the making of gingerbread men - and lots of 'em. i don't even remember where we found the recipe five years ago but after several seasons of adding a bit here, and taking a bit out there it's now perfected. that means a slightly chewy cookie with crispy edges and enough ginger to be worth its name without kicking you in the mouth.
i found out today that Asian cultures have long time believed that ginger "may have a cleansing effect, help digestion and encourage inner harmony." (see the back of a Nature's Path Optimum ZEN cereal box).
what more can i say? it's time...
DO NOT DOUBLE THIS RECIPE... FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup Crisco (butter flavored)
11/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
11/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup warm water
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons baker's cocoa
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a medium bowl, mix butter and Crisco together until combined. Cream in brown sugar and egg. Add vanilla, molasses and water and mix until smooth.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa, allspice, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Stir them into the wet mixture until all of the dry is absorbed.
3. Cover the dough and chill for 15 to 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350º F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out into shapes. Place cookies at least 1/2 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Use parchment paper if possible.
5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Makes an army.