This is my favorite recipe for gingerbread cut-outs. The dough is easy to work with and most importantly, tastes good. What is interesting to me is that Martha Stewart has changed her recipe online. This recipe is from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook. She changed it a bit in Martha Stewart's Cookies - a tweak in the flour. The recipe online has baking powder and black pepper added. There is also less molasses. I haven't tried the online recipe and probably never will. I love this one too much.
I made the dough the night before we made the cookies. It makes things easier with the boys to have one less step to wait. This recipe also is short a little flour knowing it will pick up some when rolling out the dough. I used a 5-inch cutter and got about 2 dozen cookies. We decorated with a simple royal icing.
I poked a hole with a skewer in some so we can hang them on the tree. For the sake of science, we will try a cookie after we take the tree down to see how they taste. They can't be any worse than the kits!
Adapted from Martha Stewar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 large egg
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.