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Gingerbread (ninjabread) men

December 13, 2011

You just can’t have Christmas without gingerbread men! A few months ago, I happened across a website that was selling gingerbread man cookie cutters in the shape of ninjas. Ninjabread men! They came in three different shapes, and I have three little ninjas myself, so of course I had to order them! They are a hoot!

I keep the baked, undecorated cookies in a sealed container, next to a tub containing cookie icing in a tube (hey, it’s easy and I’m busy), candy eyeballs, and tons of sprinkles. When the boys are in the mood for a ninjabread cookie, they sit down at the table and decorate them one at a time. This way, the fun lasts for days, and nobody gets burned out decorating dozens of cookies at once.

There are plenty of gingerbread cookie recipes out there, but why mess with perfection? Here’s the recipe from our sister site, BHG.com:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup 50% to 70% vegetable oil spread
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup full-flavor molasses
1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, combine butter and vegetable oil spread; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Beat until well mixed, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses and egg. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, beating just until combined. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill the dough for 2 to 3 hours or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, half at a time, to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2- to 3-inch gingerbread person cookie cutter, cut out shapes; reroll scraps as necessary. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 4 to 6 minutes or until edges are firm and centers are set. Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool.

Dough can be made ahea of time and frozen.

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