Butter - 1 sticks
Brown Sugar - 3/4 C
Black Strap Molasses - 1/2 C
Vanilla Extract - 1 Tbsp
Egg - 1
Gingerbread Spice Mix - 2 Tbsp
Flour - 3.5 C
Salt (omit if using salted butter) - 1 tsp
Use room temperature butter and egg.
Cream butter and sugar together for about two minutes - it will turn lighter and become fluffy.
Add in the egg. Add in the extract and molasses next. Let it mix all together until it's a uniform consistency, and scrape the sides if you need to.
Sift the dry ingredients together and then add in half a cup at a time to the wet. Stop when the dough starts to comes away from the sides of the bowl. You may have half a cup of dry stuff left at this point, and that’s ok. If the dough doesn’t do this, add more flour, a bit at a time, until it does. That’s also ok.
Lightly flour a surface and "Slap knead" the dough just enough to make it smooth. Divide the dough into two and pat down into round disks. Wrap these two disks in cling wrap and refrigerate them for at least three hours. It can stay in your fridge for a couple of days, and you and can also freeze it for several months.
Preheat the oven to 390 F, or 380 if you have a convection oven.
Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch and cut out shapes. The dough is sticky, so you may need extra flour to help you roll it out. Lay the shapes at least ½ inch apart on cookie sheets. Parchment paper or silicone mats are recommended.
Bake one dozen cookies for 7 to 8 minutes, or two dozen for 10 to 11 minutes. The cookies should lose their shiny tops and have just a touch of brown around the edges. Let them cool on the tray for five minutes, then move to a wire cooling rack.
Gingerbread Spice Mix
4 Parts ginger
4 Parts cinnamon
1 Part allspice
1 Part cloves
1 Part chili powder
Mix all spices thoroughly and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.