Gingerbread People

This recipe doubles easily and spreads very little on the pan, making it ideal for shaped cookies.

3 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons corn syrup

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½-1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste

1. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg yolk and syrup, then the flour and ginger and mix to a firm dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut out gingerbread shapes and space them slightly apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until slightly darker in color and beginning to brown around the edges. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Decorate with royal icing or fondant.

-- Courtesy Joanna Farrow, "Dress Your Gingerbread" (Octopus Books, 128 pp., $14.99)