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Weekend Recipe: Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe from Cook's Country yields soft and chewy gingerbread cookies that are perfect for the holiday season.

Some recipes for soft and chewy gingerbread cookies that we tried turned out specimens that were gummy rather than chewy. For our recipe, we were after the perfect soft, chewy gingerbread cookie. After many tests, we identified the key to consistently soft and chewy gingerbread cookies — rolling the dough out to an even 1/4 inch every time. Watching the cookies carefully as they baked and removing them from the oven as soon as the edges set (but the centers remained puffy) also ensured the proper texture. We streamlined the recipe by skipping the creaming step, opting instead to add melted butter rather than room-temperature butter.

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Photo: Courtesy of Cook's Country

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies

Let the melted butter cool before adding it in step 1, or the dough will be too sticky to work with. Because we roll the dough between sheets of parchment paper (no additional flour is added), the scraps can be rerolled and cut as many times as necessary. The cookies can be stored in a wide, shallow airtight container with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper between each layer for up to 3 days. Plan ahead: The dough needs to rest for at least an hour before rolling.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons milk

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, and salt in food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. Add melted butter, molasses, and milk and process until soft dough forms and no streaks of flour remain, about 20 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. Spray counter lightly with baking spray with flour, transfer dough to counter, and knead until dough forms cohesive ball, about 20 seconds. Divide dough in half. Form each half into 5-inch disk, wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

3. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll dough between 2 large sheets of parchment to 1/4-inch thickness. (Keep second disk of dough refrigerated while rolling out first.) Peel off top parchment sheet and use 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Peel away scraps from around cookies and space cookies 3/4 inch apart on prepared sheets. Repeat rolling and cutting steps with dough scraps. (Depending on your cookie cutter dimensions, all cookies may not fit on sheets and second round of baking may be required. If so, let sheets cool completely before proceeding.)

4. Bake until cookies are puffy and just set around edges, 9 to 11 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before decorating and serving.

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