*I did not make these this year. BUT I have made them every other year. I will probably make a batch after Christmas.
This is a great recipe for a crispy ginger cookie. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart way, way back in 1999. I searched for the recipe on her website but was not able to find it.
Martha Stewart Living: Program Guide printed 11/17/1999
makes about 375 very thin cookies
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs ground ginger
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup molasses
1 cup (1/2 cup) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1/4 pound) vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddles attachment, combine the molasses and brown sugar; beat until well-combined. Add the vegetable shortening and butter. On low speed, add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, to form a stiff dough.
3.Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a rectangle, and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Begin with one half of the dough , and divide the rectangle into quarters. Working on a lightly floured baking mat, roll out one of the quarters as this as possible, until it's almost translucent, to completely cover the baking mat. Trim the edges, forming the dough into a rectangle. I use the silpat silicone mats. The rectangles don't have to be perfect but as close to the mat size as possible in order to get the most cookies out of the dough. Keep the quarters refrigerated, but if you are baking them all at once this step is not critical.
5. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place the rolled-out dough and the baking mat on a pan. Bake 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking for 4 more minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven, and, using a cookie cutter, quickly stamp (cut) out as many as you can before the dough cools. Transfer the stamped-out cookies to a wire rack to cool. If dough becaomes too hard to tamp, reheat it in the oven for 45 to 60 seconds. Continue stamping out the cookies until all the dough is used.
Repeat the process until all the quarters have been baked and cookies cut out.
* I use a round fluted cookie cutter, about 2" in width. You can use other shapes but I found the round gets the most out of the dough.