Hello there. I purchased these cookie cutters in Glacier National Park, when I went on that trip to Montana over the summer. Although the cookies were so cute and quaint, they had a rough bus ride today, lost many appendages, and were then gobbled up by my co-workers.
The best advice on how to be a baker without looking like a baker: take it all to work, man.
GINGERBREAD COOKIES makes about 2 dozen large cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1/ Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
2/ Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick, cut out the cookies, and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets. Knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies.
3/ Bake, switching the positions of the cookies from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.
4/ Decorate as you will. I used this recipe for the icing.
[recipe by Rick Rodgers, via Food Network]