Gingerbread hearts - country living holidays

Yield: 60 cookies

Measure Ingredient
4½ cup Unsifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
¼ teaspoon Ground cloves
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Vegetable shortening
¾ cup Sugar
1 cup Light molasses
1 large Egg
About 14 yards 1/4 or 1/8 inch-wide red ribbon (opt.)

1. In medium-size bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.

2. In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Shape dough into 3 equal balls; wrap and set aside until ready to roll out.

3. Heat oven to 350'F. Lightly grease and flour 2 baking sheets.

Between 2 pieces of floured waxed paper, roll out one ball of dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Remove top piece of paper. With 3 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as possible and place about ½-inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press together dough trimmings and reroll to cut out more hearts. If making cookies for ornaments, pierce a small hole with a drinking straw about ½ inch from center top of each cookie.

4. Bake gingerbread hearts 12 to 15 minutes or until firm and golden brown. While still warm, check holes and reopen, if necessary. Cool gingerbread on wire racks. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking until all dough has been used. If desired, thread an 8-inch piece of ribbon through the hole of each and tie. Hang cookie hearts on tree, or store in airtight containers to serve later.

Country Living Holidays/1994 Scanned & edited by Di Pahl & <gg>

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