This recipe came out of THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, probably about 15-20 years ago. My children still love them as much now or more because I made them more often when they were younger. As a matter of fact, they've become a holiday tradition and I sent some with my firstborn when he moved south. He told me that when he recieved them at the holidays he never shared them because he liked them so much-shared the other goodies but NOT these cookies. Hope you enjoy them as much as we have...
Many thanks to THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS
"The Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana included this recipe in it's book, Revel, which is available for $11.20 postpaid from Books Unlimited (Dept. TMEN, P.O. Box 4648, Shreveport, Louisiana 71104). The transforming touch which makes this soft cookie so delectable is provided by the freshly grated orange peel.
Cream 2 sticks of butter or margarine with 1-1/2 cups of sugar. Then add 1 egg and beat the batter until it's light and fluffy. Now, mix in 4 teaspoons of grated fresh orange peel and 2 tablespoons of dark corn syrup or molasses. In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cloves...and add the ingredients to the creamed mixture before blending everything well.
Chill your prepared dough thoroughly.Then, working with small amounts at a time (leave the remainder in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it), roll it out to 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth (we found that the latter made it easier to lift the cookies).
After you cut out your gingerbread figures, place the spicy desserts an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Cool the snacks for a minute before removing them from the pan. Now, you're ready to decorate...and to share."
i've made a couple changes or variations over the years. I always use molasses and add 1 teaspoon of orange extract as well as the fresh grated orange peel -fresh spices always make it better too. Sometimes, I leave the dough out if I've made a couple of batches and just keep rolling and cutting until I'm done. i've made them thicker if I use larger cookie cutters.
I don't know if the cookbook stated in the recipe is still available as this was from many years ago-I just wanted to give credit where it was due.