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Gingerbread people

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Makes 3 1/2 dozen
Gingerbread people

Gingerbread cookies

1

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda.

2

In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the molasses until incorporated, then the egg. Mix in the grated and ground ginger, allspice, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and cardamom until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least two hours -- and up to one week.

3

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Take half of the dough and roll out on a floured work surface to slightly less than one-fourth inch. Using cookie cutters in the desired shape, cut out the dough and place the shapes on a cookie tray lined with parchment, about 1 inch apart. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to color slightly. Do not over-bake. Cool cookies thoroughly on racks before frosting.

Royal icing and assembly

1

Place the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer) and mix until combined. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing until well combined.

2

Pipe onto cookies with a piping bag (remember to cover the unused portion of the icing with plastic wrap to prevent drying out). Garnish the cookies as desired with decorations, then dry at room temperature until the icing is hardened. Store in airtight containers for up to 3 weeks at room temperature.

From Amy Scattergood.

Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.
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