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Gingerbread Cookies



Mix together the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt.
Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
Remove from heat and stir in the molasses and sugar.
Beat in the spice mixture and blend completely.
Blend in the water, then the egg.
Place the flour in a large bowl and make a large well in the center.
Pour the butter mixture into the well.
Stir about one quarter of the flour, the part closest to the center, into the butter mixture.
Gradually stir in the rest of the remaining flour.
When all the flour has been incorporated, turn the dough out onto a board and knead just until smooth.
Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight, or up to two weeks.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease two baking sheets.
Roll out some of the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick, keeping the rest well wrapped in plastic.
Cut into men, candy canes, trees or other shapes with a 5-inch cookie cutter.
Continue rolling and cutting the rest of the dough.
Bake the cookies on the sheets for 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven, gently lift off the cookies with a spatula and cool them on a rack.