Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

It seems only fitting that I should make gingerbread cookies at Christmas.  Any girl whose last name is Ginger and her classroom of children believes their teacher's name is Mrs. Gingerbread should be baking gingerbread cookies.  I have never made them until this year and have never really thought of it.   What a colossal mistake I have been making!  My 3 kids loved taking over with the decorating.  It was hysterical seeing what they tried with the icing.  I only had one jar of food coloring, green.  At least it was a Christmas color.  I bought a bag of M&M minis and a jar of sparkly crystal sprinkles.  The icing in the jar was good for flooding the cookies.  That's about it.

I found the recipe in the current reader's digest.  I hate name dropping but this one is Martha Stewart's favorite gingerbread recipe.  Well, it was her recipe.  Now, it is mine.

3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all that.

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons peeled & grated fresh ginger
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses

Combine all that and add the dry stuff.  Blend until it looks like cookie dough.
Divide it up into about 2 or 3 dough balls.  Refrigerate it or roll it out on a floured surface.
Cut with cookie cutters or a glass.  (I couldn't find my cutters.)

After you cut them....refrigerate them until they are firm.
Bake at 350* for about 12-15 minutes.  It all depends on how crispy you want them.  If I were doing a gingerbread house........I think I would bake them at least 15 minutes.  They will get really crispy.  I think that would hold the candy on the house better.

Surprisingly, enough...this was really easy.  I will do these again next year and forever after that.   Someday, with my Grandchildren.  Any cool grandma would plan something this extraordinary.   I may even get a house pattern and make a house next year.

The royal icing was way easier than I expected.  Meringue powder can be found at Hobby Lobby in the cake decorating section.

Royal Icing....2 cups of confectioners sugar
                      2 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder
                      3 Tablespoons of water.

Beat until soft peaks form and add more water if necessary.  It should be stiff enough to form soft peaks.  It should take about 10 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. I did you one better. We made a gingerbread house! Of course this being the first time baking the gingerbread in this oven the baking time was a bit off. They could have gone a few minutes longer for a less floppy finish. The house went together nicely, but after about 24 hours it looked like a tornado blew through and took the roof. Half caved in and half slid off. It tasted delicious though! The mold is from Pampered Chef, they no longer make them so garage sales or eBay is where to find one. (if you are interested)