It's Almost Cookie Swap Time

Counting the weeks to my annual cookie swap with friends. I have six really good cookie recipes and there are just about six weeks to swap day. Once a week, I'll share a cookie recipe with you and by the time the holidays roll around, you'll be too confused to choose one and possibly five pounds heavier. LOL

When our younger son was little, he wouldn't eat anything that remotely resembled a living thing. Gummy bears, chocolate bunnies, and gingerbread men were banned. We ate jelly beans, chocolate balls and I made wreath cookies instead. Now that he's all grown up and living in New York I'm free to use my favorite cookie cutter to bake up the cute little guys. And there are no tears or fears when I bite off a head!

It's a pain that this dough needs to be refrigerated before rolling but the good news is that it can be rolled and rerolled without toughening up the second batch and, while the cookies do puff up some during baking, they hold their shape pretty well. I like a cream cheese icing for decorating, and a couple of dried cranberries dropped on their bellies to balance the spiciness of the gingerbread. You can top off the cookies with chopped, candied ginger before baking if you prefer no icing.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water (if dough seems stiff as you stir add a drop at a time until it feels soft)

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream together butter, egg and sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses, water and vanilla, then gradually add in flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide dough into two or three pieces (dough should be soft), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters of your choice ( I like 3" men best) to cut dough. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutter. Cookies should be slightly firm to the touch at the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about two dozen or so gingerbread men. Decorate with your favorite icing.


  1. Yum! I don't mind eating anything that resembles something living; I just object to eaing something that I knew when it WAS alive.


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