1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz./226g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer cream the butter, add the sugar, and beat the mixture until fluffy. Beat in the egg, the molasses, and the vinegar.
Into another bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt and stir the mixture into the butter mixture, a little at a time. The dough will be soft. Divide the dough into fourths, dust it with flour, and wrap each piece in waxed paper. Flatten the dough slightly and chill it for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C.
Roll out the dough, 1 piece at a time, 1/4-inch thick on a floured surface and cut out cookies with a 4-inch gingerbread man or (gingerbread girl) cutter dipped in flour. Transfer the cookies with a spatula to buttered baking sheets, arranging them 2-inches apart, and bake them in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until no imprint remains when they are touched lightly with the fingertip. Make cookies with the dough scraps in the same manner.
Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
If desired, decorate with frosting or royal icing, colored sugars, and candies and raisins. Store in airtight containers.
Tip: For Ornamentation-Optional
While gingerbread men are still warm from the oven, make a small hole at top of cookie, and use for hanging with ribbon or colored string for ornaments on Christmas tree.
Makes about 5 dozen (4-inch) gingerbread people.
Date: November 2, 2002