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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Gingerbread Cookies, Frugal Holiday Treasure

I stumbled upon what may be the perfect holiday cookie with more perks going for it than dietary downfalls.

Busy days have always deterred me from doing cut-out cookies for Christmas since rolling out dough usually became a frustrating experience. Drop cookies were so much less of a mess and took half the time, so I thought till now.

Gingerbread cookies have to be the one holiday treat that is guaranteed to lighten the mood and produce a smile.  No matter what a person's age, he or she cannot eat one without murmuring an "ahhhh, I remember when..." moment from childhood.

Most cut-out cookie recipes are made up of the ingredients we are usually trying to avoid: white flour, white sugar and solid shortening. This recipe I discovered is a gem. It is probably from the lean years of the Great Depression or the rations of war time because it doesn't contain any white sugar or eggs. Years ago such simplicity was out of necessity or availability, but today it can be seen in a more positive light:

A nutritional boost of iron
No white sugar
No eggs or milk
Very easy handling dough
Perfect for those who want a not-so-sweet cookie.
Ideal for dipping in milk, tea or coffee.
They are a crisp cookie so hold up well for packing into tins as gift ideas or shipping.

By Helen E. Goodwin 
"Yankee Church Supper Cookbook"

1 Cup baking Molasses (Blackstrap if want the nutritional boost and not as sweet)
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Tbsp ground Ginger spice
1 rounded Tsp Baking Soda
3 Cups Flour

Boil together the molasses and butter.
Let cool.
In a large bowl, sift together the ginger, baking soda and flour.
Add the molasses, butter mixture and blend well.
Roll dough thin (about 1/8 inch thick) on a floured board or surface.
Cut out with cookie cutters.
Space out on greased cookie sheet so fit from 9 to 12 cookies, depending on their size.
Add desired decorations, such as raisins for eyes or cinnamon hearts for belly buttons.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 - 10 minutes
Makes 2 - 3 dozen gingerbread men or 4 - 6 dozen smaller cookie cutter shapes.

Yankee Church Supper Cookbook