Gingerbread Ornaments

I have been collecting ornaments since I moved out on my own after grad school, and I now have enough to fill a pretty big cardboard box.  This year, however, I decided to keep the box in the closet and do something different.  I’ve been trying to be more handmade, and I decided to adorn my (four foot tall plastic) tree with some handmade ornaments.gingerbread ornaments3
AHH! What was that?!
I used some printer paper that we were about to recycle and cut out a few snowflakes.  I also picked up a few candy canes from target (which served double duty as ornaments and dessert).  To round things out, I decided to use up the end of some molasses we had lying around and make some gingerbread ornaments.
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Oh no! My Arms!  I guess Dan got hungry…
They didn’t turn out perfectly, but it was fun trying!  The only downside is that they are too tempting for Dan and he’s been eating them right off the tree!
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Gingerbread Ornament Recipe

5 cups flour
4 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup molasses

1. In a large bowl, combine the 5 c flour, 4 t ginger, 1 T cinnamon, 1 t nutmeg, 1/2 t cloves, 1 t salt and 1/2 t baking soda.

2. Place the 2 sticks of butter and 2/3 c brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.

3. Beat in the 2 eggs, one at a time, beating smooth after each addition. Scrape down bowl and beater.

4. Lower the speed and add about half the flour mixture. Once it’s combined, beat in the 2/3 c molasses.  Then scrape the bowl and beater again.

5. Add the remaining flour mixture, about a cup at a time, and beat after each addition until it has all been absorbed.

6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the dough a final mixing with a spatula.

7. Transfer half the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press it to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Wrap the dough tightly and repeat with the remaining dough. Move the dough to the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or for up to 3 days.

8. When the dough is done chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

9. Unwrap the dough and roll out into a sheet about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut the dough with a cookie cutter and transfer the cookies to a pan covered with parchment paper.  Don’t forget to poke a hole for the string!  Repeat until done.

10. Press together the scraps and reroll until all the dough is used up.

11. Bake the cookies until they become dull and dry looking, about 10 to 15 minutes.

12.  Store any cookies that you don’t hang on your tree in an airtight container.  (Although the ones on the tree seem to have maintained their deliciousness for over a week now, or at least Dan keeps eating them).