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Gingerbread People

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on December 13, 2008

What makes these cookies special more than anything is to find a cookie cutter that expresses who you are. If you are an animal lover, get some animal forms. Make those gingerbread people dress and look like the people you love and admire. They take a lot of work and a lot of time, but are so worth the effort.





Rhonda’s Gingerbread Characters


Don’t heat that oven yet or grease a cookie sheet! You won’t bake these for hours, or even days.




½ cup shortening (like Crisco – not oil)

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup molasses (you can substitute honey in a pinch)

2 Tablespoons Vinegar

5 cups all purpose flour

1 and ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves


Cream shortening, butter & sugars. Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar.

Sift together in separate bowl the dry ingredients. Blend with the wet mixture slowly until well mixed. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. (Half can be frozen for later use)


When you are ready to tackle the cooking part (at least 3 hours later); preheat the over to 375 degrees. Roll dough to 1/8 inch on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes and place at least 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. (If you place the boys and girls too close together, they tend to reach out and hold hands while baking and the airplanes like to crash into the balloons). Bake for 5-6 minutes. These are very soft cookies, but easy to handle when cool. If you like a crisper cookie, add a couple minutes baking time. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet onto parchment paper or whatever surface you have prepared. Don’t decorate until completely cooled.


For decorations – go wild. You can buy over the counter frosting in a can or make your own. (Personally I like to make mine with butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with a few drops of cream to get the right consistency) Allow yourself plenty of frosting so that you can use various shades of food coloring to make different ‘clothes’ and other decorations. Plain white works just as well. I usually have several bowls handy with assorted M&M’s, crushed candy cane, dried blueberries and cranberries, candy corn, red hots, Skittles and more. For fine detail, I use some old syringes that you would use to give liquid medicine. Practice first if you are not used to fine details. Sometimes I just cover the whole cookie in white and stick things on it to make a pattern.


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