1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Various food coloring, optional
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, molasses, and vinegar.
2. Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir into the creamed butter mixture slowly. Divide the dough into thirds or fourths, pat with flour and wrap each in waxed paper. Chill it for at least 3 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick on a floured surface and cut out cookies with a floured gingerbread man cutter.
4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and arrange cookies 2 inches apart, and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks. Re-roll dough scraps and continue cutting cookies until all dough is gone.
5. If decorating, pipe the icing* on the cookies using a pastry bag or plastic baggie with one tip cut off. Allow icing to cool completely.
*Don’t be afraid to buy tubed decorating icing. It comes in a variety of colors, and it’s so easy to apply. Less mess! You can also play around with dried fruits and candies.