Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
Gingerbread is my second favorite cookie, after those soft sugar cookies you get in the mall. Yes, I know. I’m not a very discerning cookie eater, but I sure like those things.
I love it when Christmas time comes around and I can break open the old recipe binder and make batch after batch of gingerbread. I know my sugar cookie recipe so well, that I don’t need to read it and I can make royal icing without measuring, but I use this recipe so infrequently I forget what’s in it from year to year.
I have been thinking about starting my holiday baking since my friend Glory made a beautiful gingerbread garland. However I didn’t really get the umph to do it until after the cookie decorating party I went to on Saturday. As soon as I walked in the door, the air was heavy with the telltale scent of gingerbread. To make matters BETTER, it tasted as good as it smelled! As soon as I made it home, I got started.
I came up with this recipe in the early years of my cookie obsession. As an inexperienced baker, I had no idea what recipe to use so I printed out about four and tweaked and combined them until I came up with something I loved.
You might notice that my recipe calls for shortening. If you have an aversion to shortening, use butter or half butter, half shortening. Substitution is fine.
The bad thing about gingerbread is that I like the dough just about as much as the actual cookies. It tastes so “earthy” I like to tell myself it isn’t so bad for me, but, my waistline says different. On that note, I feel like I should warn you that I like spicy gingerbread. If you don’t, adjust it to your personal preference. Under no circumstance should you use the ten year old spices you have. Save those for gingerbread playdough. For the best flavor, buy new spices every year.