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Soft, chewy and flavorful gingerbread cut-out cookies. The addition of black pepper brings out the spices, balanced with a little bit of fresh orange zest. I’m not a royal icing fan, so I opted for a stiff buttercream icing instead. These are the best Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies I’ve ever made.
Into a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until fluffy and well-combined. Add the molasses, followed by the egg and orange zest, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour/spice mixture until it all comes together. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness (thinner for crisp cookies, thicker for soft, chewy cookies). Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and place on the prepared baking sheets. Roll, cut, and repeat with the remaining dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until just cooked through but still soft (mine were perfect at 8 minutes). Carefully remove cookies from the pan to a cooling rack.
For the stiff buttercream icing:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter. Sift in the powdered sugar gradually. Add the vanilla and the half-and-half. Beat on high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Spread on cookies using a knife or a piping bag with a tip (or a plastic zipper bag with the corner cut off). Allow the icing to set before storing cookies in airtight containers.
Heavily adapted from Food Network.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!