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Source: Fabulous Food Associations

Crystallized Ginger Gingerbread People
Gingerbread People bring back warm childhood memories. Children love these cookies and so do adults!!
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Serves: 3-4 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes
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Cookies:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. fine salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger* (about 3 oz.)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. freshly grated lime or Orange zest, optional
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup molasses
1 large egg
Decorating icing:
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
pinch salt
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lime, orange or lemon juice, at room temperature
crystallized ginger cut into 1/8-in. bits, optional
* crystallized ginger, also called candied ginger, can be found at specialty food markets or online at gingerpeople.com. Look for slices or chunks of crystallized ginger that are soft.




1. In a large bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients; set aside.


2. Place crystallized ginger in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add brown sugar and zest, and process until ginger is finely chopped and incorporated into the sugar.


3. Combine butter and sugar-ginger mixture in a bowl; cream together until light and fluffy. Add molasses; beat to combine. Add egg; beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and drop onto large sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten into disks about 1-in. thick and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs.


4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or butter the sheets. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface, 1 portion at a time (keep remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8- to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into shapes. Place 1 in. apart on baking sheets.


5. Bake 6 to 8 min. Cool cookies on pan for about 8 min. Transfer directly onto a wire rack to cool completely. Re-roll dough scraps and cut out more cookies.


6. To make icing, combine butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, gradually adding juice until the desired consistency. Decorate completely cooled cookies as desired using small bits of candied ginger for eyes and buttons.









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