Gingerbread heart houses

Time 1 hour
Yields Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on size
Gingerbread heart houses
(Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the molasses until combined, then the egg until fully incorporated.


In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and salt. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until fully combined. Wrap the dough tightly in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 30 minutes (the dough can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated until needed).


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut out using desired cookie cutters. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing at least 1 inch apart.


Bake the cookies until they are firm and the edges begin to darken, 10 to 15 minutes (timing will vary depending on size).


Cool completely, then decorate as desired.

Adapted from a recipe provided by Katie Rodgers. To make royal icing, beat 1 egg white (or 1 tablespoon pasteurized dried egg whites or meringue powder) with a pinch of cream of tartar and 1/3 pound sifted powdered sugar until combined and smooth, thinning as desired with warm water.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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