‘Tis the season, y’all. Classic cookies prompt nostalgia and pure delight on so many levels, and these gingerbread men fit the bill beautifully. An overnight chill will yield perfect shapes, so try to plan these out if your schedule allows! Cheers.
Makes about 3 dozen gingerbread men
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1. In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool for about 10 minutes, and beat in the egg.
2. Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture. Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for at least one hour (overnight, if possible).
3. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out several baking sheets; there's no need to grease them, though lining with parchment saves effort on cleanup.
4. Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator and place on parchment on a clean work surface. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour. Roll the dough 1/8" to 1/4" thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be.
5. Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste. Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges 8 to 10 minutes, or until they feel firm.
6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.