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Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men
Reviews:
December 20, 2007

This recipe barely misses a 5 star rating for one reason only. The cookies are not "spicy" as the title promises. They have a pleasant, mildly spiced flavor, but this recipe lacks the "bite" usually associated with genuinely spicy gingerbread. For those, however, who have palates that appreciate milder spices, this recipe is perfect. If you long for a spicier kick to your gingerbread, double the listed spices except cloves, and add a liberal dash or two of cayenne. The dough was very easy to work with, after chilling. I made it before going to bed, then rolled them out the next morning, taking only what could be rolled and cut at one time out of the fridge. The dough is, like any recipe made with a large quantity of any syrupy substance (i.e. molasses, corn syrup, honey,) sticky if not adequately chilled. Sticky dough is impossible to work with. The temptation is to add more flour to the dough, but resist it! More flour toughens your product. In fact, when rolling, it is always advisable to use a pastry cloth on your board and pastry sock on your rolling pin. This enables you to incorporate the least amount of flour possible, yet still work easily with the dough. Another good quality is that these don't puff up and lose their shape when baked. In fact, what you see when on the sheet before baking is just about what you get. They're good keepers, still soft a week after baking (kept in an airtight tin.) Excellent recipe, but some tinkering with the spices could improve it.

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