Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
These are the real deal. The addition of vinegar is what makes them tender, so don’t skip it! On rainy days Mom used to make an extra large gingerbread boy or girl (the size of the pan) for each kid and then we spent afternoon decorating it with colored frosting and sprinkles.
1 3/4 cups shortening (butter, softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup light molasses (regular)
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon vinegar
8 cups all purpose flour
In large bowl, cream shortening and sugar. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, molasses, vinegar and soda mixture a blend thoroughly.
In separate bowl, blend flour and spices together. Add the flour blend gradually to the shortening batter and mix well. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Cover and chill the dough at least 2 hours or until it is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Work with only 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough at a time leaving the rest chilled. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough no thinner than 1/4 inch thickness. With lightly floured cookie cutters, cut your desired shapes using as much of the dough the first time as possible. (Each time the dough is reworked it produces a slightly tougher cookie). Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake (the cookie will bounce back when touched). Cool on cookie sheet for 2-4 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies may be decorated before baking by using raisins or currants (this works well for making faces on gingerbread people) or with frosting after they have cooled. These cookies freeze very well.
2/3 cup butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Cream together butter and sugar, then add flavoring and gradually add in cream until frosting reaches desired consistency. The addition of cream versus milk is what makes the frosting melt in your mouth.