Soft Gingerbread Cookies
The secret to keeping these cookies soft and chewy is to roll out the dough on plastic wrap or wax paper while it’s still warm; then chill it before cutting into shapes. To take to a party, stack the plastic-wrapped, pre-rolled strips of dough on a baking sheet. For an easy decorating option, pipe melted chocolate and Royal Icing out of plastic sandwich bags: simply snip a tiny corner off each bag.
1. Combine molasses and brown sugar in saucepan; heat over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and bubbles appear around edges of saucepan. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda. Add butter, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves, stirring until butter is melted. Stir in egg, then flour, and mix until no white streaks remain. Add crystallized ginger.
2. Line workspace with 10-inch-long sheet plastic wrap. Roll out still-warm dough to 3/8-inch thickness on plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap, and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill 10 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters, and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Press scraps together and repeat. (If dough is too warm, refrigerate 10 minutes.) Bake 10 minutes, or until firm to touch. Serve warm, or transfer to wire rack to cool completely.