We bake dozens of these cookies every Christmas and decorate them with the names of family members and friends. Then we give the cookies to their namesakes at a cookie swop held every year on the Friday before Christmas.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dark molasses
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
Bring sugar, molasses, and butter to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Add baking soda mixture, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and flour; work ingredients together until well blended. Chill dough 8 hours or overnight. Next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured board. Cut with gingerbread-man cookie cutters. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp and golden. (Keep an eye on the cookies so they don't burn.) After they have cooled, decorate with candy buttons and pieces of cherry.
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