Gingerbread is a holiday staple; to make chocolate gingerbread, swap cocoa for 1/3 cup of the flour, or add the grated zest of an orange to the butter-sugar mixture for orange gingerbread that will make your house smell divine. To make hangable ornaments, cut a hole close to the top with the end of a straw just before baking, and loop a ribbon through afterward. These keep well, and are perfect for shipping.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup dark molasses
1/3 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, molasses and water until smooth. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt and cloves.
Add the flour mixture to the molasses mixture, stirring by hand just until you have a soft dough. Divide the dough in half, shape each piece into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or up to a few days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough at a time about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into your desired shapes and place on a parchment-lined sheet.
Bake for 12–15 minutes, until slightly deeper golden around the edges and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling scraps just once to get as many cookies as possible. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Winter 2017.