I am a little picky when it comes to gingerbread cookies. I have only had a few I actually like. One recipe I like is my mother-in-laws, but I think I have harassed her enough this week. I found this one on My Kitchen Cafe's Sugar Rush: 12 recipes in 12 days. The "thick and chewy" made me hopeful. Luckily, I was not disappointed, these are soft and chewy deliciousness.
I have discovered that I have issues with food that has eyes. The monkey cupcakes freaked me out a little, and these decorated gingerbread men scare me a little too. I was sure to put the Tupperware lid on tight.
Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies taken from My Kitchen Cafe
3 cups (15 ounces) flour
¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature, cut into 12 pieces
¾ cup light or dark molasses
2 tablespoons milk
With an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the butter pieces. Mix at medium-low speed until the mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and with the mixer running, gradually add the molasses and milk; mix until the dough is evenly moistened about 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
Scrape the dough onto a work surface and divide it in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between 2 large sheets of parchment or wax paper. Leaving the dough sandwiched between the parchment or wax paper, stack the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or overnight.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
Remove one dough sheet from the freezer and place on the counter. Peel off the top parchment or wax paper sheet. Gently cut the dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring the shapes to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough until the baking sheets are full.
Bake the cookies until set in the centers and the dough barely retains and imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 9 minutes. Do not overbake!! Cool to room temperature and decorate as desired! Makes about 2 dozen gingerbread men.