Monday, January 7

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

So I started with the first day of cookies, and then stopped. I really did do two more days after that but then I just got so overwhelmed with everything else that something had to give. But I would love to share one of the other cookies I did with you now.

Another cookie we made for Christmas were Gingerbread cookies! I know I've done gingerbread cookies before, but when I looked at my recipe I saw that it included shortening. *blech* I don't know why, but I've been in a mood where I try really hard to avoid using shortening. So anyway, I wanted to do something a little different from the usual gingerbread cookies. (Last Christmas for the 25 Days of Christmas Cookies I made Chewy Gingerbread Cookies.)

2 cups flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth.

Beat in the molasses and the egg.

My helper keeping a close eye on the mixer. :)
With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredient mixture.

Mix just until a dough forms.
Wrap and chill the dough until it is firm, about 2 hours. I spread plastic wrap out on the counter and sprinkled with flour to keep the dough from sticking to the plastic wrap.
Then I flatted the dough a bit to help it chill through better.

Then my helper and I cleaned up. You can see which job she called. :)

Once it is chilled enough, pull it on out. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out the shapes and place on a silicone-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet .
Bake at 350 degrees F until firm and the edges just begin to darken, about 10-18 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies). Cool the cookies completely on the sheet.


 If you want to decorate your cookies, here is a good recipe for royal icing.

Royal Icing
1 lb confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 egg whites

Whisk together the sugar and the cream of tartar. With the mixer on low, blend together the sugar and cream of tartar mixture with the egg whites. When you are sure you won't have a cloud of sugar explode in your face, increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and stiff. 
Keep it covered with a moist cloth until you are ready to frost cookies.

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