- 4 1/2 cups (approximately) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbs ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbs water
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Combine the molasses, sugar, and water and heat in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat. Add the shortening and allow it to melt.
- Add flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix to a stiff but smooth dough, pliable but not sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Knead briefly to ensure it is well blended and of the proper consistency.
- Roll out thinly while still warm and cut into cookies. Dough will stiffen as it cools but can be rewarmed to make it easier to work. However, do not over-warm so as not to cook the dough.
- Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 8 minutes, until evenly cooked and beginning to brown.
- Slide off cookie sheet and cool on a rack.
Variation: Gingerbread house
- Roll dough about 1/8 inch thick, or thicker for stonger walls, directly on cookie sheet. It is important to roll the dough as evenly as possible so the dough will expand evenly.
- Place pattern pieces on the dough, leaving 1 inch space between, and cut out. Remove the trimmings.
- Bake about 12 minutes, until well done but not overly brown.
- Remove carefully to a rack, making sure not to distort the piece, and let cool.