- Using a wooden spoon, stir sugar with oil and butter until blended. Stir in eggs, molasses and vinegar. In a large mixing bowl using a fork, stir 4 cups (1 L) flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
- Make a well in flour mixture, then pour in molasses mixture. Stir until just combined and all flour is absorbed. Stir in remaining flour, 1/4 cup (50 mL) at a time, until dough is no longer sticky but still soft. You may not need all flour. Form dough into a ball. Place in a plastic bag, flatten slightly and seal. Refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes or for up to 1 week. Or freeze.
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Grease large cookie sheets or coat with cooking spray. Roll out 1/4 of dough until about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick for thick gingerbread or 1/8 inch (0.25 cm) thick for thin gingerbread. Cut into shapes with 2 inch (5 cm) or larger cookie cutters. Bake on centre rack of 375F (190C) oven until deep brown around edges and firm to the touch, about 8 minutes for thin or 10 minutes for thicker cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Larger cutouts require more baking time. While baking first batch, repeat cutting. Then gather up scraps, brush away clinging flour and gently compress into a ball. Add another knob of fresh dough over top and press. Then roll out and cut. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Using a large metal spatula, transfer baked cookies to a cooling rack. Cool trays slightly before adding more cutouts and baking. When cookies are cooled, leave plain or decorate with icing and let dry. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for 1 month or more.
Rolled thick or thin, these big-batch gingerbread cookies emerge from the oven crispy and delicious. Try our time-saver technique when baking up the whole batch at once. Blackstrap molasses produces a darker cookie than traditional molasses with a not-too-sweet gingerbread taste.
Line large cookie sheets without sides with ungreased foil or parchment paper. Cut 2 or 3 extra pieces of foil or parchment to fit sheets. Place cookies on foil-lined sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake cookies according to recipe. Meanwhile, roll and cut out more shapes. Place on additional pieces of foil. With baked cookies still on it, slide foil onto a cooling rack. Slide foil sheets with unbaked cookies onto hot cookie sheets and return to oven. Decrease baking time 1 to 2 minutes when using hot cookie sheets. When baked cookies on rack are cooled and firm, peel off foil and finish cooling on a rack. Reuse foil to bake more cookies.