- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Assorted colors of liquid food coloring
- Round pastry tip #2, #3 or #4
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and vinegar; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness and cut into desired shapes. Place 1 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- For icing, stiff confectioners' sugar and meringue powder into a large bowl. Add water; beat on low speed until blended. Beat on high for 5-6 minutes or until soft peaks form. Place a damp paper towel over bowl and cover tightly until ready to use.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip. Fill bag with 1 cup icing. Outline each cookie with icing. Tint remaining icing with food coloring if desired. Add water, a few drops at a time, until mixture is thin enough to flow smoothly. Prepare additional pastry or plastic bags with thinned icing. Fill in cookies, letting icing flow up to the outline.
- Let cookies dry at room temperature overnight. With food coloring and small new paintbrush, paint designs on dry icing. Store cookies in airtight containers. Yield: about 6 dozen.
Originally published as Holiday Ginger Cutouts in Country Woman November/December 2000, p43
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