Yield 48 3-INCH (7.5-CM) COOKIES
This Gingerbread people cookies recipe isn't only perfect for your own munching, they make for lovely and delectable gifts too!
For the cookies
For the icing
Make the cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, if you’re using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, and water. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and all spices together. Transfer to the bowl with the butter and sugar mixture and mix to incorporate. Dump dough on a clean countertop and gather into a flat ball. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm enough to roll.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/5-inch (0.5-cm) thickness. Cut out shapes using a floured cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Reroll scraps and keep cutting until there is no dough left.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are firm. (Do not overbake the cookies or they will become too crunchy and tough). Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Make the icing: Whisk the sugar and 2 tbsp (30 ml) milk together in a small bowl. Add more milk if needed, until you reach a thick but pourable consistency. Mix in food coloring, if desired.
Transfer the icing into a piping bag and decorate the cookies with icing and sprinkles, according to your inspiration. After decorating, let the cookies rest flat on wire racks until the icing hardens.
Store the cookies in airtight containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the cookies in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to a month.
Serve the cookies at room temperature.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE
For the cookies: Use dairy-free buttery shortening instead of butter. I use Earth Balance’s Vegan Buttery Sticks.
For the icing: Use a dairy-free milk of your choosing (soy milk works well).
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Simply Beautiful Eating.
Recipe by Food Nouveau at http://foodnouveau.com/recipes/desserts/cookies/gingerbread-people-64-cookies-and-candies-that-make-perfect-edible-gifts/