Spices of the Season

The smell of gingerbread brings the holidays home.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies, Image by Rachel Johnson

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

There’s nothing better than the smell of warm gingerbread, fresh from the oven, filling your house with festive cheer. These spiced cookies are a seasonal favorite and will be a hit at your holiday gathering.

Makes: 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup molasses

1 large egg (room temperature)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon ground cloves

Icing and assorted candies as decoration (if desired)

1. In a stand mixer or large bowl fitted with a hand mixer, beat butter 1 minute or until completely smooth and creamy. Add brown sugar and molasses; beat on medium-high until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into butter mixture until combined (the dough will be thick and slightly sticky). Divide dough in half, form into two discs and wrap tightly with plastic wrap; chill for at least 3 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

4. Generously flour a work surface and rolling pin. Remove one disc of chilled cookie dough from refrigerator; roll out until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes.

5. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets with at least 1 inch around each cookie. Reroll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped; repeat with remaining dough.

6. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges and darkened in color. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

7. Decorate, as desired, with icing and candy. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

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