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Category   Desserts - Breads
Sub Category   None

1 cube margarine (or butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light, but dark will make the dough darker)
1/2 cup molasses
3 1/2 cup sifted flour (it really does help to sift, but don't worry if you don't)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda (make sure it's fresh, not old!)
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/3 cup warm water

1. Mix up the margarine, brown sugar and molasses. Add all the remaining dry ingredients, alternating with the water until nicely mixed into a dough that sticks together. You may need to add a little more water, or possibly a little more flour. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes, if you chill longer the dough gets too stiff
2. Lightly flour work surface, rolling one half of dough at a time. Cut out house shapes, re- left over dough pieces. Dust flour off pieces as you place on cookie sheet. The best way to bake is to use Silpat baking mats. If you don't have those, use parchment paper. If you don't have that, lightly spray or grease cookie sheets before placing cut-out pieces on it.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Don't under bake, as you need them to be solid enough to hold their own shape. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Then re-cut the shapes, so they are all the original size. (The dough often expands a little as baking.)
Note- A lot of people recommend rolling the dough and cutting it out right on the back of a cookie or baking sheet. I didn't find success that way. My best success was cutting on the work surface and then transferring to a Silpat mat. Those mats are worth their weight in gold!

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