Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread reindeer
Gingerbread reindeer

My sister Melba, and I both love the same kinds of spices, and I think ginger is probably our very favorite one.  We just have a certain affinity for it, and it must be genetic. Some of our happiest times have been making holiday goodies together, and this versatile dough is always on the list!  The two of us especially like the combination of ginger and chocolate, so we either dip cookies in melted chocolate chips, or decorate with mini-chips.  You can also leave the cookies plain for an understated artistic look. 

Gingerbread Boys

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light molasses or honey
1/2 Tablespoon vinegar
1 egg, beaten
3 cups flour (more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine first four ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cool. Combine with egg in large bowl of mixer. Combine dry ingredients and add to mixture. If needed, add a little more flour. Dough should not be sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten and chill. Roll to 1/8 inch thickness and use cookie cutters, decorating with mini-chips, raisins or m & m’s. Or form into balls and press with cookie imprint designs, or use in large cookie molds. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes, depending on size. Cookies should be browned around edges. After baking, cookies may be dipped in melted chocolate chips. Stars partially dipped in chocolate are very pretty and quite tasty. These cookies can be frozen at any stage.

Make Christmas trees, reindeer or other shapes from this spicy dough. It’s easy to work with if you keep it well floured.

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