Baking batches of cookies in early December always puts me in the mood for Christmas. This particular recipe yields quite a bit, so I end up with plenty for my family and can still give some away to friends, too.
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup light molasses
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Red and green decorating gel, optional
- In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in egg yolks, water and molasses. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a 2-3/4-in. doughnut cutter. Remove and discard centers. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil; cook until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage), about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar mixture, beating on high for 7-8 minutes or until thickened. Frost cookies. Decorate if desired. Yield: about 5 dozen.
Originally published as Gingerbread Rings in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1999, p35
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