Cookies of Color

AKA Gingerbread Cousins

Gingerbread Cousins
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons each: ground ginger, baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl; set aside. Beat butter and shortening with a mixer on medium high speed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, Beat in the egg, molasses, vinegar, grated ginger, if using, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour, beating just until it is absorbed into dough. Folding in remaining flour with a spatula, as needed. Divide dough into three pieces. Transfer to plastic food storage bags. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove one of the packages of dough from the refrigerator. Roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch on a lightly floured surface. Cut with your favorite gingerbread people cookie cutters. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake, one sheet at a time, until cookies just begin to firm around the edges without browning more, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes on pan. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 6 dozen soft cookies, depending on size.