Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

"Run, Run as fast as you can. You can't catch me. I'm the gingerbread man!" So taunts the yummiest, cutest cookie around. That's right, I'm finally, finally getting to some holiday baking!

I am a Gingerbread Man purest. I like only a little icing outline, and some red-hot buttons. Occasionally, I'll add more decoration, but I think it just adds too much sweet to something so yummy without it.

What You Need:
1/2 cup Shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg*
3/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon

Royal Icing Recipe
Red Hots/ "cinnamon imperials" (or other sprinkles/decorations)
  - Yield: 3-4 dozen 4" tall gingerbread men

*You see 2 eggs in the photo because I doubled the recipe in order to make some gingersnaps, too. For info on how to make half & half, check out the bottom of the gingersnap recipe.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, soda & spices. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl, cream together shortening, butter and brown sugar.

Add eggs and mix to combine.

Add molasses and mix to combine.

Add flour mixture until almost no white streaks remain. (Do not overmix!) The dough will be a ragged mixture.

Hi reflection of me in the bottom of the plastic wrap. When will I learn?!
Press it into a disk or ball and wrap in plastic wrap. (I should have taken a picture here. The dough is not all in one ball when you dump it from the mixer. It is in large pieces that you then wrap and press together with the plastic.)

Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. That's about the thickness of a pencil.

Cut the Gingerbread Men out with a cookie cutter and place on parchment paper-covered baking sheet.

IMPORTANT STEP HERE! Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes. (This is a good time to preheat your oven. Then you know you will have chilled the dough long enough.) When you chill the cut cookies, it helps keep them from spreading as much when they bake.

Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350-degrees.

Remove to cool on a cooling grid. Let cool completely before icing.

While the cookies are cooling, whip up a batch of royal icing.  If you wish, thin some of it to use as a flooding icing as well.

Load up an icing bag with an icing bullet and use a round tip (I used tip #3) to make the outline. You could also use the cut-off corner of a zip-top bag, but your lines won't be quite as round.

If you want to flood the cookies, I usually don't bother with an outline because to me, gingerbread men aren't supposed to be all perfect, so I just use the flood consistency of royal icing (thin it until a drop of it disappears in a slow count of 10). That I usually load into a zip-top baggie, cut a small corner off, and slowly spread on the cookie.

The icing will air dry in several hours. Then you can store them as you would store iced sugar cookies.

Now, I'm told that you can freeze cookies that have been decorated with royal icing if you wrap them individually first. I'm still too nervous to do that. So, when I bake the whole batch, but don't want to decorate them all, I will just stack them in an airtight container, un-iced, and then defrost them and decorate them as needed.

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  1. great recpe
    I'll try this , on the weekend
    thanks =)
    I'll be happy if you check out my blog too=)

  2. Definitely going to try this… always looking of kid friendly ideas for the ages ranging from 2-7… perfection. Love it. Thanks!

  3. i used to love GB cookies when I was little :")

  4. Great recipe. I just baked some gingerbread cutouts myself. So tasty!


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