gingerbread cookies

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Martha Stewart's Gingerbread Cookies
(slightly adapted)

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour ( I like Heckers)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional, I omit it)
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulphured molasses

Make the dough:
       In a medium size bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
       In the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed, cream the butter and dark brown sugar. Add the ginger, cinnamon , cloves and salt and mix until well combined. Add the eggs and molasses, mixing to combine.
       At low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
       Divide the dough into thirds, forming into one inch disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour or overnight. This can be made and chilled up to one week in advance.

Make the cookies:
       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line rimmed cookie sheets with parchment.
       On a floured work surface, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick . Using floured cookie cutters, cut out as many cookies as you can. Re-roll the scraps and cut out once or twice more. Brush off any accumulated flour at the bottom of the cookies before placing them on the cookie sheet. Chill for 15 minutes, and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on size, until the edges are lightly browned.
       Cool completely before decorating. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Makes alot!....YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You can make the dough well in advance, up to a week.
2. Make sure the dough is very well chilled. I make flattened one inch disks wrapped in plastic wrap, so it warms up faster and it's easier to roll out.
3. Roll the dough out on a good amount of flour, it's get's sticky fast. And, re-roll the scraps until all of the dough is used up.
4. Use parchment to bake on. Why make it hard on yourself?
5. These cookies will last forever, stored in an airtight container. So if you decide to make them this year, MAKE ALOT!