I spent years looking for a good gingerbread recipe that used butter instead of shortening, but I never found one I loved, so I made up this one. Whether you like your gingerbread cookies soft and chewy or nice and crispy, this is the perfect recipe. The dough is easy to work with, the cookies are flavorful but not overpowering, and they last for weeks in an airtight container. In a word: yummy.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
confectioner’s sugar and milk (for glaze)
Place butter in large bowl and beat with electric mixer for one minute or until soft and creamy. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg and vinegar. Beat in flour.
Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 in thickness. Cut with cookie cutter and place one inch apart on cookie sheet (works equally well with large cookie cutters or the little mini-cutters).
Bake for 5-6 minutes until cookies become a lighter brown. Cool on sheet for a minute or two before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Decorate as desired. (I mix 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk, until the mixture is a good drizzling consistency, then I drizzle the cookies with the glaze. They can be iced entirely or decorated with the glaze or frosting of your choice.)
Layer between slices of waxed paper and store in airtight container.
Note: if you prefer a chewy cookie, take them out of the oven while your finger still leaves an indentation in the dough, if you like a crunchy cookie, bake a few minutes longer.