These homemade gingerbread cookies are inspired by the antics in the Gingerbread Baby story by Jan Brett. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
- 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Red paste food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine flour, cocoa, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 3/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets; reroll scraps.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint desired amount of icing red. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth.)
- Using pastry bags and small round tips, decorate cookies as desired. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container.
- Freeze option: Freeze undecorated cookies, layered between waxed paper, in freezer containers. To use, thaw and decorate as desired. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Gingerbread Babies in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2012, p160
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