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Gingerbread Cookie Dough

This is a classic for Christmas or anytime you want cookies for decorating. I have made these cookies for many years for Christmas. Sometimes, we have made them thick, almost ½ inch thick and placed a piece of drinking straw in the top of the dough and when baked and decorated, we have hung them on the Christmas tree. By the way, when the Clinton’s were in the White House, we were selected to represent New Mexico and made adobe churches and houses of the dough for hanging on the tree. They sent us a picture of themselves in front of the tree with all the state’s cookies on it—a nice touch. These cookies keep very well. They are really the best when frosted.

Oven Temperature: 350F Baking Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Approximately 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on size

¾ cup butter or margarine (1½ sticks)
¾ cups granulated or brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
¾ cup molasses
¼ cup water
3¼ cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Cream butter and sugar together. Add the salt, soda and spices. Stir in molasses and water. Gradually mix in flour until completely blended. Wrap and chill dough for 2 hours. Dough may be frozen at this point.

3. Roll out dough, half at a time, and cut out cookies.

4. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets in preheated oven until light brown around edges, about 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Frost when cool.

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