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Christmas English Gingerbread

Originally published on Sunday, December 13, 1998

For the past few years, I've added this vintage-era gingerbread cookie to my holiday baking. The dough is smooth and easy-rolling with a clear, sweet molasses flavor. The crisp, golden-brown cookies don't need icing or decoration, so they are quick as well as easy.

4 cups sifted flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (no substitution)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ginger (must be fresh)
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 cup molasses

Mix the flour, sugar, ginger and salt together.

Cut cold butter into the mixture with a pastry blender or work in with your fingertips.

Add just enough molasses to hold the ingredients together without being sticky.

Wrap the dough air-tight and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Roll very thin on a well-floured board and cut as desired or shape into "logs" and slice into rounds.

Bake on foil-lined, ungreased cookie sheets for about 8 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen, 2-inch cookies.

--Alice Demetrius Stock, Vintage Cookbooks column

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