approx. 36 3-4 inch cookies
1/4 cup room temperature, unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Use an electric mixer to cream 1/4 cup room temperature butter with 1/2 cup light brown sugar.
Then beat in 1/2 cup of molasses until that's well incorporated.
At that point, use a medium size mixing bowl to combine 3 cups all-purpose flour with 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp salt and mix it up.
Turn the mixer back on to the lowest speed and alternately add the flour mixture with 1/4 cup water and turn the machine off just as everything is well combined.
The dough will have a somewhat crumbly texture and, at this point, you want to roll it out in batches, between two sheets of wax paper, until it's about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick.
Then lightly coat the cutting edge of the gingerbread cutting tool in a little all-purpose flour and cut the dough into gingerbread men, placing them onto a parchment paper lined baking tray as you go.
You'll need two baking trays for this and then place those into the preheated 350 degree oven.
They'll take around 10 minutes to bake and you'll want to switch the trays from top to bottom halfway through.
To make a simple frosting, combine powdered sugar with a very small amount of water to make a paste, spread it onto cookies, adding cinnamon buttons if you like, and let the frosting firm up for 1/2 hour or so.