Our family gingerbread recipe, is what you would call "structural" we usually build our gingerbread "house" with this recipe. It bakes up relatively flat providing a perfect vehicle for piped royal icing and decorations. That said it is a very tasty recipe, it's bursting with traditional gingerbread flavors, and is addictive! Not to mention this cookie leaves the house smelling delicious. You can also scale this recipe down or up! as we usually make a 3 batches.
3/4 cup butter
3/4 + 2 TBSP brown sugar
1tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice (fresh)
1/2 cup molassas
3 cups flour
2tsp baking powder
1TBSP ground ginger 2 tsp ground all spice
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and molasses. Gradually beat in 2 eggs
Sift flour baking powder, and spices together and stir into creamed mixture.
Wrap *dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour (or more)
*Dough will be sticky, and heavy flour is needed to keep the house from sticking.
Heat oven to 375°, Roll dough onto a silpat or non-stick cooking mat (this is important as the dough is next to impossible to move while keeping the cut-out shape) cut out your shapes. Slide non-stick mat onto baking sheet and Bake cookies for *8-10 minutes or just until crisp around the edges. For a cookie that does not bend cook longer.
*If adding a candy for the windows of a gingerbread house, bake cookie for 8 minutes remove from oven and fill in windows with candy (we used crushed candy cane) bake an additional 2-3 minutes or until the candy has melted. You can also use a toothpick to move the molten candy within the cut-out area to ensure even distribution.
One more note: if you do not have all spice you can use 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves and a pinch of nutmeg per 1 tsp of all spice