You'll have seasonal spirit well in hand when you cut out these chewy cookies in lamb, camel, star, angel and other Nativity-themed shapes. A simple, homemade white icing is the perfect finishing touch.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, water and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. Nativity-themed cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the icing ingredients. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 8-10 minutes. Pour into a small bowl. Beat on high speed until icing forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. Spread over cookies; let dry completely. Yield: 5 dozen.
Originally published as Nativity Molasses Cookies in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2007, p63
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