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Christmas Gingerbread Bowl Cookie Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light molasses

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

3 large eggs

8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, add molasses, corn syrup, and vanilla and orange extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixture is well combined. In large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice and pepper.

Add flour mixture gradually to butter mixture (the dough will be very stiff and you'll have to use your hands to get all the flour worked in). Divide dough into thirds and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill overnight.

Remove dough from fridge and let stand at room temperature until just soft enough to roll out, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cover outside of 1 1/2-quart ovenproof glass bowl (with a lipped edge) with aluminum foil, bringing foil over edges to the inside. Make sure foil is on very smoothly. Spray entire bowl with cooking spray and set aside.

On floured surface, roll 1/3 of the dough into a circle 3/16-inch thick. Immediately lift dough and press on to outside of bowl, molding firmly to shape of bowl without stretching it. (If necessary, rub dough gently with palms of hand to remove any cracks.) Trim dough around edge of bowl with sharp knife, then, using a small star-shaped cutter, cut out stars around the lipped edge of bowl about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart and about 1 1/2 inches up from bottom of inverted bowl. Refrigerate bowl for 1 1/2 hours; this firms up dough and prevents slippage during baking.

Place inverted bowl on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 F. for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to touch. Allow gingerbread to cool on bowl. When completely cool, carefully loosen foil and lift foil and gingerbread shell off bowl. Peel foil off shell. Store shell, uncovered, in dry place away from humidity of kitchen.

Use remaining dough to make 2 more bowls, or cut with decorative Christmas cutters into cookies. Bake cookies on lightly greased baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Makes 3 gingerbread bowls or 1 bowl plus cookies.

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