‘Tis the Season for Everything Gingerbread

Giingerbread2Gingerbread is synonymous with the holidays. Who can resist the sweet-spicy aroma of gingerbread baking, and the absolute fun of decorating gingerbread creations such as a welcoming gingerbread house, or cookies for dessert, gift giving and, of course, for Santa.

For a customized house, like “Welcome to Candy Lane” pictured here, check out the complete instructions in the new book, “Wilton Cookie Exchange.”

This classic gingerbread cookie recipe, redolent with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, is perfect for cutting into holiday shapes, including the favorite gingerbread man … which can be enjoyed plain, simply outlined in white icing, or more elaborately decorated. This versatile recipe could also be the basis for a homemade gingerbread house, or tree ornaments. For ornaments, don’t forget to make a hole in the cookie (using a thin drinking straw) immediately after removing from the oven.

Visit to find additional holiday gingerbread treats — plus many more ideas for holiday celebrations.

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. molasses*

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In large saucepan, melt shortening; cool slightly. Stir in sugar, molasses and egg; mix well. Add 2 c. flour mixture; mix well.

Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining flour mixture by hand. Add additional flour, if necessary, to make firm dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies with holiday cutters in a variety of shapes.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet until lightly browned on edges, about 10-15 minutes for large sized cookies, 6-10 minutes for small to medium sized cookies. Cool on cookie sheet placed on cooling grid 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.  Decorate as desired.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

*Substitute 3/4 c. light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.

Courtesy of Family Features

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