Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Gingerbread Folks
490grams dough
490grams dough
For the cookies
Make the dough
  1. In a food processor, process the brown sugar until very fine.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture begins to clean the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the molasses and egg and process until smoothly incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough begins to clump together.
Chill the dough
  1. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap to press the dough together to form a ½ inch thick disc. Wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, up to overnight.
Preheat the oven
  1. Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the middle level. Set the oven at 350ºF/175ºC.
Roll the dough and cut the cookies
  1. Set the dough on a well-floured dough mat or sheet of plastic wrap. Lightly flour the dough and cover it with plastic wrap. Roll the dough ¹⁄8 inch thick.
  2. Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. Dip the cutters in flour every few cuts to prevent sticking. Gently brush off any flour on top of the dough. Gather up and press together the scraps to reroll. Wrap and refrigerate the scraps until firm.
  3. With a small offset metal spatula or pancake turner, lift the cut dough onto a cookie sheet, placing the cutouts about 1 inch apart. If planning to hang the cookies, use the blunt end of a wooden skewer to make a hole at the top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies
  1. Bake for 5 minutes. If the holes become too small as the dough bakes, set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and reopen them with the end of the wooden skewer. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 5 to 7 minutes, or until firm to the touch and just beginning to color around the edges.
Cool the cookies
  1. Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and use a thin pancake turner to lift the cookies onto another wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Reroll the scraps to make the second batch; cut, bake, and let cool.
Decorate the cookies
  1. Use royal icing to attach decorative elements such as pieces of raisins, currants, or cinnamon red hots or other candy to the dough. The royal icing can be piped onto the cookies for attractive details. If necessary, use a lightly moistened brush to correct imperfections.
  2. STORE AIRTIGHT: room temperature, 3 months; frozen, 6 months.
Recipe Notes

Rose’s Baking Pearls
• If the dough should soften after cutting, cover and refrigerate before lifting the cut dough off the surface to maintain the cookies’ shape.

Make This Recipe Your Own
• If you enjoy thicker, softer cookies, roll the dough ¼ inch thick and bake just until they are set but still slightly soft when gently pressed with a fingertip, about 8 minutes.