I love this recipe so much!  I used to over bake Gingerbread men and give them to my little ones when I was grocery shopping.  It would take them about 45 minutes to eat one, and that was my shopping trip done.  (and they were happy children the entire time!)  This is a Canadian west coast recipe. 

Ingredients:   

5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour                2 teaspoons ground cinnamon                         2 teaspoons ground ginger                           1/2 teaspoon ground cloves                                  1/4 teaspoon salt                                             1 cup vegetable shortening                             3/4 cup sugar                                                    1 large egg                                                               1 cup molasses (the recipe calls for light, but I always use dark – in England use black treacle)

Method:  

  1.  On waxed paper, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
  2. In large bowl, with electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in molasses and egg.  Stir in flour mixture to make a stiff dough.  Divide dough into thirds; wrap with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least one hour (or up to 3 days) before rolling out on floured waxed paper.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  For cut out cookies, cover 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch (or 1/8).  I often roll the dough out on paper, 1/2 inch apart, remove the excess dough, and slide the paper with cut out cookie shapes onto the baking pan.
  5. Bake small gingerbread pieces for 8-10 minutes, 12-15 minutes for larger pieces.  Cookies should be firm and golden brown when done.  Store in airtight containers.  Enjoy!
  6. Decorate if desired.

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