This recipe is a source of contention in my house. I think this is the perfect recipe. Curtis does not.
See, the problem is, I don't love gingerbread. The molasses is too strong, as is the ginger. I like a milder gingerbread then, so I can ignore the strong flavors. Curtis loves all things ginger…ginger snaps, ginger bread…ginger ale…He also loves molasses. Thus, he doesn't like this recipe, for the exact reasons I love it. So every Christmas, we have gingerbread cookie wars. There's often a lot of gingerbread cookies in our house, because we both want to make *our* recipe. I refuse to make Curtis's recipe, because I won't eat them, and vice versa.
Makes 5 - 6 dozen depending on the thickness and shape of your cookies
Mel's Favorite Gingerbread Cookies
from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
4 c flour
1/4 c finely ground almonds or hazelnuts (I like almonds)
1 T ground ginger
1 1/4 t ground cinnamon
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t ground cardamom
1 c butter, at room temperature
1 c dark brown sugar
2/3 c molasses
1 large egg
2 t vanilla
3/4 t freshly grated orange zest
1 t finely grated fresh ginger (ginger root)
Combine flour, ground nuts, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and cardamom in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, using an electric mixture. Add the molasses, egg, vanilla, orange zest, and fresh ginger. Mix well, until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Divide the dough in four discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour to 3 days (or you can freeze if you want to save it for longer).
Place on disc on a lightly floured surface and roll out a scant 1/4" thick. Cut out the desired shapes using cookie cutters, dipping the cutters in flour as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper (or a silpat or just well greased). Repeat with remaining discs, rerolling scraps as needed. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes or until the cookies are firm and the edges are golden. Decorate as much or little as desired.