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Gingerbread House Cookies

This is my favorite molasses cookie. I use the recipe not only to create little houses for Christmas but also to make bunnies for Easter and stars for the Fourth of July. —Karen Haen, Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Optional: Royal icing or frosting and food coloring of your choice

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses and orange zest. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to creamed mixture alternately with water, mixing well after each addition. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a 3-1/2-in. gingerbread house cookie cutter dipped in flour. If desired, create windows using very small cutters of various shapes.
  • Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Use icing or frosting and food coloring to decorate cooled cookies as desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 127 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
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