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Friday, December 21, 2012

Bettie's Classic Gingerbread Cut Outs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/4 cups molasses
7-10 cups all-purpose flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 + 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon baking soda

*Use more flour for a stiffer cookie (say, for gingerbread houses), and less flour for softer cookies. The dough is very forgiving. I've found that about 8/8.5 cups is just about perfect for me.


Cream applesauce and brown sugar. Add molasses and mix well.
Mix spices with 1 cup of the flour and add. Add the rest of flour about 1/2 cup at a time, alternating adding water and flour. Combine baking soda and final 1/4 cup water and add last.
Cover and chill dough for at least an hour before rolling out. (At this point you can also freeze the dough for up to a month.)  Thaw completely before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to desired thickness (I found about 1/4 inch thick makes nice soft yet sturdy cookies) and cut out shapes. Arrange cookies on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.

Bake cookies for approximately 10-14 minutes or more (longer cooking times will yield stiffer cookies). Allow to cool a few minutes on cookie sheets, then transfer to cooling racks and cool completely before frosting.

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