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January can be a long month. Usually it is gray and cold and after the excitement of the holidays, there is not much to anticipate. The holiday baking extravaganza may be over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great items to bake for winter! Why not make winter an occasion by baking something special, such as a batch of fragrant gingerbread cookies?
Gingerbread is usually a Christmas specialty, but I decided to hold off making any gingerbread treats until after Christmas. To avoid feel too Christmas-y, changing the cookie cutters from gingerbread men to snowflakes was the solution. Perfect for a cold and windy winter night with a cup of coffee, this old family recipe will warm your soul and look appropriately festive for the wintery season!
These cookies are the classic gingerbread you crave and will instantly become one of your post-Christmas favorites! Enjoy the snow!
Great Grandma’s Gingerbread Cookies
- 1 cup lard
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 5 ½ cups flour
- dragees (optional)
- Place lard in a large pot. Use real lard; it’s all-natural and makes these cookies taste amazing! Add molasses and sugar. Stir together then boil. After dissolved, let the mixture cool completely.
- In a large mixer, combine cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, eggs, salt, vanilla, and baking soda. Also add flour.
- Add lard, molasses, and sugar mixture to the mixer and combine until thick. Aim for the dough to be stiff and dense.
- This dough may be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until used. When ready to make the cookies, start with a floured surface. Roll dough out to the desired thickness. The dough will not rise much in the oven, so roll to at least a ¼-inch thickness. To make the shape of cookie, use something festive, such as a snowflake cookie cutter! The best part of cookie making is the embellishments you add. Just like my grandma in years past, I always use dragees. You can add anything you want to the top of the cookies: just be creative! By adding these elements before baking, the embellishments will adhere better to the cookie.
- Bake cookies for eight minutes at 400°F.