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This recipe has been formatted to fit in your Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Spicy Ginger Houses

Makes: 8 servings Yield: 8 (6-inch) cookies
Prep 50 mins Chill 4 hrs to 24 hrs Bake 350°F 8 mins to 10 mins
Spicy Ginger Houses
Ingredients
  • 3/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1  egg
  • 1/3  cup  molasses
  • 2 3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  •  Red cinnamon candies or other small candies (optional)
  • 1  recipe Royal Icing (see recipe below) or purchased decorator icing (optional)
Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, ginger, pepper, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours or until easy to handle.

3. Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 6x4-inch house-shaped cookie cutter, cut out dough. cut out small heart-shaped windows from houses if desired. Cut additional heart from scraps for decorations. Place house shapes on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart; place heart cutouts on a separate prepared cookie sheet because they may bake at a rate different from the heart shapes.

5. Bake house shapes in a 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until tops of cookies appear dry (bake heart shapes about 8 minutes). Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

6. When cookies are cool, decorate if desired with heart cutouts, candies, and icing, attaching candies and cutouts with the icing. Makes about 8 (6-inch) cookies.

Royal Icing::

7. In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons meringue powder*. Add 3 tablespoons cold water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is combined; then beat on medium to high speed for 5 to 8 minutes or until mixture forms stiff peaks. (If mixture seems stiff while beating, add water, 1/2 teaspoons at a time. Icing should be fairly thick for piping. For a thinner glazing consistency, stir in a little more water after beating.) When not using, keep tightly covered to prevent it from drying out; keep refrigerated. Makes 2 cups.

From the Test Kitchen
  • Look for meringue powder at kitchen, cake-decorating, and crafts shops.
Nutrition Facts (Spicy Ginger Houses)
  • Servings Per Recipe 8,
  • cal. (kcal) 404,
  • Fat, total (g) 18,
  • chol. (mg) 73,
  • sat. fat (g) 11,
  • carb. (g) 56,
  • fiber (g) 2,
  • pro. (g) 5,
  • sodium (mg) 204,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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