The Perfect Gingerbread Cookie
A dark, robust and spicy gingerbread cookie with a slightly crispy edge and semi-soft center. This cookie dough rolls like a dream and is ideal for cutting gingerbread folk, or any other desired shape.
Servings: 7 jumbo gingerbread folk (8" x 11")
Ingredients
  • 7 cups 910 g all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons 12 g cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons 12 g ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons 11 g salt
  • 1 teaspoon 6 g baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon 3 g ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup 227 g(2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup 235 g packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs cold
  • 1-1/2 cups 355 ml cooking molasses*
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and beat in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl between additions. Add molasses and vanilla and beat until completely incorporated.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Dough should be soft (not dry or crumbly) but not sticky. If sticky, add a few tablespoons of flour until desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Remove 1/2 of dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of plastic wrap on counter.Wrap the sides of wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2" thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of dough. Chill both discs of dough for at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove one disc and remove plastic wrap. Place on top of a large piece of lightly floured parchment or wax paper (I use a silicone rolling mat underneath to ensure it doesn't slip while rolling, but you can even dampen counter so the parchment sticks a bit.), then place two 1/4" wooden dowels on either side of your dough, then another sheet of parchment paper.
  6. Roll dough (this will require a bit of elbow grease for the first few minutes until it softens up a bit) so it's flush with dowels--they will ensure that your dough is even thickness.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or freezer for 15 minutes (or more).
  8. Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters or template of choice, placing them on a baker's half sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (or parchment), with 2" clearance around each one and the edge of sheet. Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 7 minutes, tap tray on counter, and return to oven, rotating tray. Bake until edges just start to brown, about 6 more minutes. Be careful not to over-bake, or cookies will be dry.
  9. Cool sheets on wire racks for 20 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling. If cookies are too fragile, you can cool completely on trays.
Sweetapolita's Notes

*Use cooking molasses for a more dark and robust gingerbread cookie, or if you prefer a lighter tasting gingerbread, use fancy/unsulphured molasses.