- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Optional decorations: confectioners' sugar icing, colored sugar, sprinkles and nonpareils
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and molasses. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and cloves; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Freeze option: Freeze undecorated cookies in freezer containers. To use, thaw in covered containers and decorate as desired. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Molasses Cutouts in Taste of Home December/January 2000, p67
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