3 dozen medium-sized cookies
5 - 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups unsulphured molasses
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix 4 cups of flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt shortening over medium heat. Add sugar, molasses and eggs. Mix well. Add warm sugar mixture to the prepared flour mixture, stirring until all of the ingredients are well blended. Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make the dough firm.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4" thickness and cut out cookies. Bake on prepared pans for 6 to 10 minutes for small to medium size cookies and 10 to 15 minutes for large cookies. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire rack until cool.
If you are not going to use your gingerbread right away, wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week. Remove it 3 hours prior to rolling so it softens and is workable.
Substitute 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.
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