Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (cookscountry)

3 c flour
3/4 c packed dark brown sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T ground ginger
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt
12 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 c molasses
2 T milk

Process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves and salt in food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. Add melted butter, molasses and milk and process until soft dough forms and no streaks of flour remain, about 20 seconds scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Spray counter lightly with baking spray with flour, transfer dough to counter and knead until dough forms cohesive ball, about 20 seconds. Divide dough in half. Form each half into 5″ disk, wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll dough between 2 large sheets of parchment to 1/4″ thickness. (Keep second disk of dough refrigerated while rolling out first.) Peel off top parchment sheet and use 3 1/2″ cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Peel away scraps from around cookies and space cookies 3/4″ apart on prepared sheets. Repeat rolling and cutting steps with dough scraps. (Depending on your cookie cutter dimensions, all cookies may not fit on sheets and second round of baking may be required. If so, let sheets cool completely before proceeding.) Bake until cookies are puffy and just set around edges, 9 – 11 min, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 min, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before decorating and serving. Makes about 24 cookies.

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