Gingerbread cookies are essential to make during the holidays. They are fragrant, sweet and fun to decorate with your kids. There are so many variations of the basic gingerbread cookie recipe, but most include molasses, ginger, cinnamon and perhaps a touch of cloves as well. Some recipes produce a soft and chewy cookie and others are more crunchy. I like mine somewhere in the middle, and the flavorÂ not too spicy. You can take my basic recipe and add a smidgen more spices to suit your personal taste.
One important trick with gingerbread cookie dough is that it must be chilled thoroughly in order for it to be rolled out properly. Keep a little cup of flour by your work space and be sure to generously flour your board and rolling pin. I also like to dip my cookie cutters in flour before cutting into the dough.
After baking and cooling the cookies, decorate away! Use confectioners’ icing to pipe little eyes and buttons. In fact, I love to bring these cookies to my children’s holiday parties and let them decorate the cookies as an activity. It’s a simple activity that doubles as a treat.
DAIRY, EGG AND NUT FREE GINGERBREAD KIDS
Â Yield: 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine with the brown sugar, molasses, and applesauce. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt with a wire whisk. Add to the margarine mixture, and mix on medium low for about 1 minute. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350ÂºF, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut shapes out with cookie cutters dipped in flour, and place shapes on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on baking sheets.