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Soft Molasses Gingerbread Men

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Why I Love This Recipe

This is an old Quebecois "receipt" handed down orally from Mother to Daughter. My Mother (who is 86 yrs. old) has agreed to let me publish it for your enjoyment, but there are a few aspects of this recipe which I feel I need to explain to ensure your success in obtaining the soft, molasses-y cookies my family loves so much. 1)The flour measurement is sort of arbitrary, because heat and humidity determine how much is needed. The idea is to have a heavy dough, but not to add any more than absolutely necessary to roll them out after chilling. 2) Where the recipe calls for melted shortening, this can be Lard or or Crisco; do NOT try Vegetable Oil or Margarine. 3) Ice Coffee can mean your left-over-from-breakfast type, or instant, which has been cooled down then iced, as long as it has no sugar or milk added. 4) The assembly instructions may seem strange, but they are correct. 5) You can mix these with a heavy-duty mixer, but Mom has always done them by hand with an old wooden spoon...she is small but has great muscles!

I don't know why it all works, but it does!

Ingredients You'll Need

1/2 Teasp. Salt
1 Teasp. Cinnamon
3/4 Teasp. Ginger
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Molasses
1 Cup Hot Melted Shortening
1 Cup Iced Coffee (or Iced Water)
1 Teasp. Baking Soda
5 - 6 Cups White Flour
1 Egg, lightly beaten


Mix Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger and Molasses together in a large bowl. Add Hot Shortening and mix well. Combine Baking Soda and iced Coffee (or Water) and add to mixture in bowl, stirring to blend all. Add enough flour to make a rather stiff, cookie consistancy dough. Pour the beaten egg over the top and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours. When thoroughly chilled, roll dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut with a floured cookie cutter (traditionally, it is a Gingerbread Man.) Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned on bottom. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to a rack to finish cooling. How many cookies you get, depends on the size and shape of the cutter.

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