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Gingerbread People

These soft, chewy cookies are favorites of my grandchildren. They love helping me decorate them. —Joan Truax, Pittsboro, Indiana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    2-1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Decorating icing and assorted candies

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, vanilla and lemon zest. In another bowl, whisk flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter.
  • Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake until edges are firm, 7-9 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
To decorate with Royal Icing: In a bowl, combine 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water, 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. If desired, tint with food coloring and pipe with a pastry bag and small pastry tips. Keep unused icing covered at all times; beat again on high to restore texture as necessary. Yield: 1 cup icing.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie (calculated without decorations): 99 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 88mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch.
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