Meet the Cook: It hardly ever fails - when I send these cookies to school with out youngsters (15 and 12), I'm almost always asked for the recipe by their teachers! -Doris Heinen, St. Cloud, Minnesota
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light molasses
- 1/2 cup cold coffee
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- ICING (optional):
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Colored sugar
- Decorator icing, optional
- In a bowl, cream butter and sugar; beat in molasses and coffee. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to molasses mixture and mix well. Chill dough 1-2 hours or until easy to handle. If needed, add a little additional flour before rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with holiday cutters dipped in flour. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
- For icing if desired combine gelatin and water in a small saucepan. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Add sugar. Heat and stir over very low heat until the gelatin and sugar dissolve. Transfer to a bowl. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until foamy. Add baking powder and vanilla; beat until very thick, about 10 minutes.
- Frost cookies by inverting them and quickly swirling the tops in the icing; decorate with colored sugar. For traditional gingerbread men, use decorator icing to add features as desired. Yield: about 7-8 dozen (2-1/2-in cookies).
Originally published as Molasses Spice Cutouts in Country Woman November/December 1992, p33
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