Ingredients for cookies:
3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose ﬂour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
(room temperature, softened)
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ﬁ nely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
raisins, chocolate chips, candy pieces, frosting
1. In a large bowl, sift together ﬂ our, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter in an electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until ﬂuffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the ﬂour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of ﬂour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more ﬂour.
3. Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly ﬂoured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes. Press raisins, chocolate chips or candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for buttons.
4. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Decorate as desired.
Makes 16 5-inch long cookies.
Appeared in print on 12.10.08.