MISE EN PLACE FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH
- Measure and sift all of the dry ingredients together. Sifting will make a difference in the texture of the final dough.
- Place softened butter, brown sugar and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Take 1 egg from the refrigerator. and let it come to room temperature.
- Tear three fairly large pieces of plastic wrap and lay them on a section of clean counter.
MIX THE COOKIE DOUGH
- Beat butter and sugar and molasses together until it becomes light brown and is very fluffy.
- Add the egg and continue to beat until batter is even lighter in colour, and the sugar is dissolved and no longer granulated.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Divide the dough into thirds; wrap each third in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until very firm. Dough can keep for up to one week.
- NOTE ON THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BUTTER: It is very important that the butter be is as soft as possible. This will allow the two sugars to dissolve. If the butter is too cold, or the egg is too cold and the butter seizes a bit, then the "boys" will be pock marked and uneven. When the butter is soft, the finished dough will be smooth and evenly textured.
- NOTE ON THE FLOUR: Use unbleached flour because the protein level (gluten) is higher and will give the cookies more tooth.
Cutting the gingerbread men.
CUTTING THE GINGERBREAD MEN
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- With your cookie cutter, look for nicely even texture in the dough and make your cut.
- Place each man on your very lightly sprayed tray. Repeat rolling, cutting and re-rolling until the tray is full.
Cutting the shapes of the gingerbread men.
- Use the straw to make the eyes.
Marking the eyes of the Gingerbread men.
- Use the chopstick to make the buttons.
Making the buttons on the Gingerbread men.
- Use the crown of the head on the cookie cutter to make the smile.
Mark the feet of the Gingerbread men.
BAKING THE GINGERBREAD MEN
- Bake for 8 minutes. Careful not to let the fingertips, and feet burn. They will very easily. Bake in one minute intervals to find the exact timing. Meanwhile work on filling the next tray.
- Touch them gently to feel for a definite firmness. If they feel soft, bake them for another minute.
- Leave them on the tray to cool a bit. They will pop off the tray when ready.
Gingerbread Men, The Finer Cookie.