Gingerbread Sleighs

from melskitchencafe.com

7 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 ½ cup dark molasses

2/3 cup cold water

Stir together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, use mixer to beat shortening, brown sugar and molasses until well combined. Stir in water. Beat in flour mixture gradually. When dough becomes stiff, work in remaining flour mixture with wooden spoon, mixing well. Wrap and chill dough several hours. Divide dough in thirds. Roll out on floured surface to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Place patter on dough and carefully cut out with small pointed knife. Reverse pattern for cutting 2nd side of the sleigh. Place pieces on grease and floured cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on cooling rack and let stand several hours to dry out (I usually make them a few days before I am going to put them together so they are dry and don’t bend and break). **Rolling the dough about 1/8-inch thick, I can make around 8 sleds per batch of dough.

Icing:

3 egg whites at room temperature

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Beat 8-10 minutes or until medium peaks form. Keep bowl covered with a damp towel so that the icing does not get hard. Assemble the sleighs the night before decorated (if you can’t do the night before, at least allow 5-6 hours for sleds to dry). Store extra frosting in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap.