Sunday, December 11, 2011

gingerbread cookies

Christmas is fourteen days away and my holiday baking is coming to an end this week. I've decorated over 400 cookies in the past 2 weeks and I'm looking forward to watch sixteen 3-year olds decorate my gingerbread people on Tuesday.

I've tried a few gingerbread cookie recipes and I feel this one from Martha Stewart is just perfect. Cakey and soft and full of gingerbread goodness......

Gingerbread Cookies
from the Holiday Cookie Issue by Martha Stewart 2005

Makes approximately 16 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutter 

6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter @ room temperature
1 cup dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons course salt
2 large eggs @ room temperature
1 cup unsulfured molasses

Royal Icing (recipe follows)

1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of am electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in the spices and salt, then add eggs and molasses. Reduce to low speed and add flour mixture. Mix until combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Space 2-inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes.

4. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes. Cookies should be firm and not dark. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Royal Icing

6 ounces warm water
5 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 kilo (2.25 lbs.) powdered sugar

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together on LOW speed, warm water and meringue powder, 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and mix for another 30 seconds.
In the OFF setting, pour in the powdered sugar all at once. Mix on the LOWEST speed for 10 minutes, The icing should look thick and creamy. Cover the bowl with a damp tea-towel or plastic wrap to prevent crusting and drying. Tint with food colorings or thin the icing with small amounts water to reach the desired consistency.

Click here for a step-by-step decorating tutorial.

The cookies decorated above were adorned last year by my little friend Cassius who was two at the time. His Mom and I outlined and iced the cookies and he decorated them with sprinkles. I will be joining him again along with fifteen other 3-year olds on Tuesday. Future DOUGH & BATTER apprentices.  

No comments:

Post a Comment