For those who aren't fans of molasses-heavy gingerbread, this light version has a wonderful flavour and is perfect for rolling and cutting into gingerbread men or other holiday shapes. To hang them on the tree, cut a hole in the top of each cookie with a straw before baking. Adapted from Back to Baking, by Anna Olson.
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and ginger.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt; add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed or stir by hand until you have a soft dough. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or up to a day.
3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes and bake on a parchment-lined sheet for 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool completely before decorating. Makes lots.