Gingerbread Men

These are a fun holiday tradition that I grew up with. I remember having all the neighbors over to decorate gingerbread men one year when I was a kid. The decorating is just about as fun as eating them.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup light molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vinegar
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour

Cream shortening and sugar together. Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar. Stir or sift dry ingredients together. Add 1/3  at a time to creamed mixture, beating until smooth. Chill dough overnight. Roll  in 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters dipped in flour. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are brown. remove to racks and cool before frosting and decorating.

*To make Valentine Bears, cut with a bear shaped cookie cutter; roll a small ball of dough scrapsand place on bear's face for a muzzle. Use small raisins or currents for eyes (just above muzzle) and nose (in center of muzzle). Place a heart-shaped red hot candy on chest are for heart. Bake as above.

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