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Ginger Cookies
Yield: 80 Servings

1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c dark corn syrup
1/2 c water
1 tb ground ginger
2 ts cinnamon
2 ts ground cloves
1 c unsalted butter or margarine
4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ts baking soda
liquid food coloring, If desired

Put sugar, syrup, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a large
saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and
sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add butter. Stir until butter
is melted and mixture is no longer very hot.

Mix flour and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to butter
mixture and stir to blend thoroughly. Dough will have a soft texture.
Place dough in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight or
at least 12 hours or as long as 1 week.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove about one-sixth of the dough and
knead it until it is slightly softened. Roll dough directly onto
ungreased cookie sheets until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Use a
cookie cutter to stamp shapes in dough, allowing a 1-inch margin
between each cookie. Remove excess dough by lifting it and peeling
it away. Scraps of dough can be kneaded together and re-rolled.

Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Allow cookies to cool
slightly and become crisp before removing them from the cookie
sheet. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. If desired, you may "paint"
the cooled cookies using a clean, small paintbrush and food coloring
that has been watered down slightly. Store cookies in airtight
containers. Note: After the 12-hour resting period, this cookie
dough can be hand-molded like clay--rolled, pinched, poked and
pressed--and it will keep its shape, expanding slightly while
baking. Thin cookies will become brown and bake quickly, large and
thick shapes will require longer baking. Can be cut into any shape
desired but make the cookies uniformly thick. The microwave oven
can be used to cook the sugar mixture in step 1.


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