Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1/2 cup sugar

  2. 1/2 cup mild-flavored molasses

  3. 1/4 cup shortening

  4. 1/4 cup butter

  5. 1 beaten egg

  6. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  7. 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel

  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt

  11. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  12. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  13. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  14. 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  15. Finely chopped, slivered, or sliced nuts

  16. 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

  17. 2 teaspoons meringue powder*

  18. 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

  19. 3 tablespoons cold water

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, molasses, shortening, and butter. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool for 45 minutes.

  2. Add egg, cinnamon, orange peel, allspice, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, cardamom, and cloves to saucepan, stirring well to mix. Add flour, one-third at a time, stirring well after each addition.

  3. Divide dough in half. Wrap and chill dough for 2 to 24 hours or until firm enough to handle.

  4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside.

  5. On a well-floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-to 5-inch cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. If desired, make a small heart cutout in the center of larger gingerbread men. Place on prepared cookie sheet. If desired, top with nuts, pressing lightly.

  6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

  7. If desired, in a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, meringue powder,* and cream of tartar. Add 3 tablespoons cold water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is combined; then beat on medium to high speed for 5 to 8 minutes or until mixture forms stiff peaks. (If mixture seems stiff while beating, add water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Icing should be fairly thick for piping. For a thinner glazing consistency, stir in a little more water after beating.) Spread cooled cookies with thinned icing. When not using, keep tightly covered to prevent it from drying out; keep refrigerated. Makes 36 cookies.

  8. Note: Look for meringue powder at kitchen, cake-decorating, and crafts shops.


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