See the pic in my new Christmas-y blog banner? We've made gingerbread men two years running now, and I've found this recipe to be so forgiving and the dough so easy to work with, that I had to share it.
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. ginger
1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
6 T. unsalted butter (I've used salted, and just omitted the 1/4 tsp. of salt mentioned above)
3/4 c. dark brown sugar (I've used light once and didn't notice a difference)
1/2 c. molasses
2 tsp. vanilla
Whisk dry ingredients and spices in small bowl.
In stand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed. (I'm sure you could use a hand mixer here, too.)
Add molasses and vanilla; blend.
Gradually add in dry ingredients.
Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic. Let stand at room temperature for 2-8 hours. Or, you can refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days, but let it come up to room temperature before using.
Roll out onto a well-floured surface with floured pin to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Bake on parchment lined sheets at 350 for 7-10 minutes.
For icing, I just mixed about 1 1/2 c. of powdered sugar with splashes of water until it was the right consistency. I cut a TINY snip from a corner of a freezer bag, spooned in the icing, and used this as a makeshift pastry bag. You'll want the icing to flow freely without too much squeezing, but not so runny that it doesn't hold its shape when dotted onto your cookies.
If your child can play with Play-Doh, he or she can do this! Liv's comment as she was cutting out the men and handing them to me to put on the baking sheet: "Mom, this is fun!"