(NAPSI)-Few things conjure up holiday fun like the image of kids decorating cookies and the aroma of fresh-baked gingerbread.
Gingerbread cookies date back to Queen Elizabeth I, who is said to have had the likeness of important visitors baked out of gingerbread. Since then, the cookies have become a holiday tradition that brings families together. So easy to bake up and decorate with raisins from the pantry, Gingerbread Boys & Girls dress up with dried cranberries, icing and mini candy canes.
To make them as party favors or as a gift for neighbors, teachers and friends, place a large cookie into a holiday cellophane bag (available in craft stores) together with a mini candy cane. Then tie with holiday ribbon.
Raisin' Cane Gingerbread Boys & Girls
5½ cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup unsulphured molasses
Tube of icing or royal icing
½ cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins or Cape Cod Cranberries
Small candy canes
Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl; set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar, molasses and eggs; beat well. Gradually beat in dry mixture on low speed.
Divide dough into 3 parts and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1½ hours.
Roll dough on lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut cookies and place 2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool 2 to 3 minutes.
Decorate with royal icing, raisins and dried cranberries. Attach small candy canes with icing onto "hands" of cookies, or serve on the side.
Yield: about 20, 6- to 7-inch cookies.
For more holiday recipes, visit www.sunmaid.com.
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