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'Tis the Season for Everything Gingerbread

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Gingerbread Cookies

(Family Features) - Gingerbread 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.

No time to bake, assemble and decorate a house? No problem! Start with a kit-all of the components needed to assemble the house are baked and ready to use. And the kit is complete with easy-to-follow instructions, icing mix, candies, decorating bag and tip, plus several ideas for completing the house. For a more 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 www.wilton.com to order "Cookie Exchange," or a Gingerbread House Kit and to find additional holiday gingerbread treats...plus many more ideas for holiday celebrations.

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses*
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. 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 cups flour mixture; mix well.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

Serves
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
*Substitute 3/4 cup light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.

SOURCE: Wilton Industries, Inc.



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