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homemade gingerbread cookies with raisins

I have no idea where she got this recipe. All I know is, it was a legend in our family, and I have very fond memories of this special treat. It’s fun, versatile, easy, unique and delicious. Really, it’s that awesome.

My sister-in-law, Rebecca, came over and made these with me tonight, molding them into adorable shapes and popping them in the oven. That, coupled with watching the movie Julie & Julia while the dough was in the refrigerator, made us feel all culinary and inspired and French. We can dream.

Ingredients

It’s actually pretty basic. The only thing you might not have on hand is molasses. It looks like a long list, but it’s mostly just spices.

  • 1 cup butter (I always use unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed down in the measuring cup)
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional, but I always use it)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

I also sometimes use raisins on the cookies when I’m molding them into shapes.

Directions

You need to set aside a little time to make these, but it’s mostly just waiting. There’s hardly any busy work. I made a second batch of dough tonight to bring to a friend’s house tomorrow so we can just mold it into shapes and bake it.

  1. Melt the butter, brown sugar and molasses together in a medium saucepan. Stir, and then let cool for at least 10 minutes (If it’s too hot, it will scald the egg).
  2. Combine all remaining dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture, then immediately add it to the flour mixture and stir well. Cover and chill the dough at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Form shapes on ungreased cookie sheets (I always use Airbake cookie sheets, they’re amazing. Its virtually impossible to burn the bottom of your cookies on those.). Make sure they’re not too close together, because they do rise a little. Bake 12-15 minutes at 325°. Remove from pan and let cool (or not…).

They’re awesome with milk, but sadly I didn’t have any in my refrigerator tonight. Thanks for baking with me, Becca!

Melting butter with molasses and brown sugar

 

Dry ingredients in mixing bowl

 

Melted butter, molasses, brown sugar, egg and vanilla

 

Mixing bowl with dry and liquid ingredients

 

Gingerbread cookie dough after refrigerating

 

Cookie dough twist

Becca is neat and organized. Here are her cookies lined up in pretty rows:

Organized cookies

I am random and sporadic. Here are my cookies sprawled all over the cookie sheet:

Random sporadic cookies on cookie sheet

Et voilà!

Homemade braided gingerbread cookie

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