Best Gingerbread Cookies
Contributed by Diane S.

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

         1988 3rd Place: Gloria Heeter's Best Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 24   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Cookies

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   1      C             Corn oil margarine
   1      C             Molasses
   1      C             Sugar
   1                    Egg
   4      C             Flour
   2      Ts            Baking powder
   1      T             Baking soda
   3      Ts            Ground cinnamon
   2      Ts            Ground cloves
   2      Ts            Ground ginger
   1      T             Ground nutmeg
                        Currants, raisins, silver
                        Balls and candy,
                        For decoration
   1                    Egg yolk mixed w/1 ts water
                        Icing for decorating

Preparation time: 25 minutes Chilling time: 8 hours or overnight Baking
time: 7 to 10 minutes

1. Beat margarine, sugar and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Add egg
and mix well.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves,
ginger and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture; mix well.

3. Divide dough into 4 equal portions on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Wrap and shape into a flat disk about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate until
firm, about 8 hours, or freeze for 2 hours. (Dough can be refrigerated
up to 3 days.)

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Working with 1 disk of the dough at a time,
roll out on a well-floured board, dusting the rolling pin as you work.
Dough will be very soft and can be difficult to work with so work
quickly and use plenty of flour. Using cookie cutters dipped in flour,
cut into desired shapes. Put cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie
sheet. Use currants or candy for eyes or buttons, if desired.

5. Bake until lightly puffed, 7 to 10 minutes. First batch may be
puffier because they will have less flour rolled in them. While still
warm, paint with egg yolk wash if desired. Cool on wire racks. Cool
completely, then decorate as desired with icing.

Icing: Mix confectioners' sugar with a small amount of water until
thick and spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired and put in
a small plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner and drizzle icing
out onto the cooled cookies.

Note: A 4-inch gingerbread cookie cutter was used in testing.

Oak Brook's Gloria Heeter is a newcomer to the Chicago area and brings
her favorite gingerbread cookie with her from Kansas City, Kan. "About
nine years ago, my neighbor, Diane Collins, brought them over for
Halloween in Halloween shapes," she says. "I took out some of the egg
yolks and substituted corn oil margarine rather than shortening, which
sometimes can have palm oil in it." Calling them "truly a cookie for all
seasons," Heeter once even made them for her golden retriever's first
birthday party. "We invited the neighborhood kids in for punch and
cookies-cookies shaped like dogbones." At Christmas, though, "I
typically print the names of each person on the cookies, place them in a
plastic bag and decorate them with a red and green ribbon," writes
Heeter of her personalized gingerbread people. "A handmade gift is
always filled with love." from the Chicago Tribune annual Food Guide
Holiday Cookie Contest December 8, 1988

September 98 Recipes