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Spiced Gingerbread Cookies

spiced gingerbread cookiesIt was the week before Christmas, and my friend Kathy announced that it was time to make gingerbread cookies. I had not really been a fan of gingerbread cookies previously, but since that day I’m a convert. These cookies are nice and soft, with the perfect blend of spices. (Of course, if you prefer crisper ginger cookies, just roll your dough thinner.) Important: for pure perfection, be sure to make your dough a day ahead!

Ingredients:
makes 4 dozen

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1  tsp organic ground cinnamon
1  tsp organic ground nutmeg
1/4  tsp organic ground cloves
1 1/2  tbsp organic ground ginger
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour (for rolling surface)
Icing and assorted candies to decorate

Directions:

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside. In second large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until soft (about 1 min). Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla; beat until combined. Gradually add flour mixture—beat as much as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining with a spoon. Cover. Chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 375° F. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut using cookie cutters. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet, 1″ apart. Create a ball from remaining dough; pat with flour to prevent sticking. Repeat.

Bake 6 mins, or until edges are firm and bottoms light brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Decorate.

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