One of our favorite family recipes for Christmas is Gingerbread Cookies. Sometimes I make larger Gingerbread Men, but this year I made smaller Gingerbread Bears. I added the zest of an orange for a little something extra.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
Heat 1 cup molasses to the boiling point, then add 1/2 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons milk, and the grated zest of one large orange.
Mix together 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1 teaspoon powdered ginger.
Add to the first mixture and blend. Add 2-3 tablespoons water or orange juice, enough to hold the dough together.
Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick, dusting with flour as needed. Cut into shape with cookie cutters.
Bake 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Cool and decorate as desired.