Orange spiced gingerbread cutouts

Yield: 48 Servings

Measure Ingredient
---For dough---
⅓ cup Packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup Unsalted butter; softened
⅔ cup Light molasses
1 Egg
2 teaspoons Grated fresh orange peel
2¾ cup All-purpose flour; plus more to roll out dough
1 teaspoon Ground ginger
½ teaspoon Baking soda
½ teaspoon Salt -For frosting---
4 cups Powdered sugar
½ cup Unsalted butter; softened
3 tablespoons Milk; (3 to 4)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
Food color

To prepare dough: In large mixer bowl, combine brown sugar, butter, molasses, egg and orange peel. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2¾ cups flour, ginger, baking soda and salt. Reduce speed to low. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.

On well-floured surface, roll out dough, half at a time, to ¼-inch thickness. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated.) Cut with 3- to 4-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on well-greased cookie sheets. If cookies are to be hung as decorations, make a hole in each, ¼ inch from top with end of plastic straw. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven 6 to 8 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Remove to racks and let cool completely.

To prepare frosting: In small mixer bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy. If desired, beat in a few drops of food color. Decorate cookies with frosting.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Tester's notes: These can be frozen. Store in an airtight container. The flavor increases with age. This is a winner for flavor and texture. I recommend this recipe highly.

Recipe adapted from Land O'Lakes.

Recipe by: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12/5/94 Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by Nancy Berry <nlberry@...> on Feb 16, 1998

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