This dough makes delicious, soft cookies, but it’s strong enough to use for gingerbread houses. If you roll the dough out very thin, you can also use it to make crispy gingerbread, but that’s doing this recipe a disservice. Cream cheese frosting tastes great on these. A cold birch beer or sarsaparilla (my favorite types of root beer) is a perfect pairing to wash them down.

1 cup sugar
2 ½ tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon (I used the 4% oil variety)
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 cup unsulfured molasses
2 tsp double-strength vanilla
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
6 cups unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 375̊ F

Lightly butter your cookie sheets.

In a very large bowl, thoroughly blend the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.

Pour in the molasses, vanilla, and evaporated milk. Stir until smooth.

Pour in the melted butter. Quickly stir it in so it doesn’t start to solidify before it’s blended.

Add half the flour. Stir until it’s smooth. Add the other half of the flour. Stir until there aren’t any lumps. The dough should be a little tacky, but not sticky. If you press your finger into it and it leaves big sticky glops on your fingertip, stir in another half-cup of flour.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough pretty thick– about 1/3 of an inch. If the flour sticks to your rolling pin, generously flour the top of the dough.

Cut out shapes. Place them on the cookie sheet so that they’re at least ½ inch from each other (the cookies will spread and puff as they bake). Cook for about 14 minutes for medium-sized (about 2 ½ inches in diameter) cookies. Add time for larger cookies, reduce time for smaller cookies. They’re done if the cookie springs back when you lightly press your finger into the top. If it leaves a dent, cook them for 2-3 minutes longer, and check them again.

When you take them out of the oven, let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.

Makes about 50 medium-sized cookies.