A holiday tradition as I was growing up! We loved making these, decorating them, wrapping them in clear plastic wrap with a ribbon, and giving them as gifts. We also loved eating them, and the house smelled wonderful when they were baking!! They are called “Gingerbread Men” in the cookbook, but we made girls as well by adding skirts & bows with the frosting, so I am renaming this “Gingerbread People.” ;) Recipe is from Fanny Farmer Cookbook, like so many of my favorites!
1/2 cup molasses 1/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon milk 2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and butter some cookie sheets (or use nonstick). Heat the molasses to the boiling point, then add the sugar, butter, and milk. Mix the flour with the baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Add to the first mixture and blend well. Add a few tablespoons of water, enough so that the dough holds together and handles easily. Roll or pat out the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into large or small gingerbread people, using special cookie cutters or a very sharp knife. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
When cool, frost with Confectioner’s Frosting (recipe below) and decorate with candies, raisins, white chocolate chips, etc.
We used to put the icing into waxed paper frosting tubes we made and draw the faces and clothing on them! :)
CONFECTIONERS FROSTING: Makes 1 cup Put 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Add in 2-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat with mixer for several minutes until very creamy. To make thinner just add water a teaspoon at a time and mix well.