Tag-Archive for ◊ gingerbread ◊

01 Dec 2010 Gingerbread Cookies (with Royal Icing)

It’s December first, time to start the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies posting.  I should be excited!  I should be baking!  My house should be filled with the smell of molasses, peppermint, gingerbread, chocolate, butterscotch, and so on!  My counters should have piles of freshly baked cookies on them!  My freezer should be ready to received tins of stacked cookies!  But, I’m, afraid, this is not the case…

On Sunday a pipe burst under my kitchen.  On Monday the fence guy noticed it.  On Tuesday the plumber said, “It’s bad. Call an excavation company.”  The excavation company and the insurance company will be here this afternoon.  I can’t use the sink.  The wall between my kitchen and garage is going to have to be knocked down.  The money I was going to spend on butter, sugar, vanilla and flour is now going to have to multiply and pay for pumps and plumbers and pipes, oh, MY. Not sure how many cookies I am going to get baked in the next twelve days, not sure how happy I am going to be over the next twelve days. This is SO not a good thing…

BUT! I did make a head start on my Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies special.  So…, with fingers crossed, let’s get started! And let’s hope we can finish 🙂  Ready, set, BAKE!

EVERY Christmas cookie plate needs an old fashioned Gingerbread cookie.  I have been using this recipe for years.  The cookie is sturdy, bakes flat and although it has a pronounced gingerbread taste, it’s not overwhelming; kids can decorate it without it breaking, and kids will eat it without complaining! I found this recipe in a small spiral bound Christmas Cookie cookbook back in the 1980s or 1990s.  My daughter just baked 12 dozen of these cookies for two Christmas parties she’s catering.  She’s making the cookies, and the kids will decorate with royal icing and assorted candies and then take them home to their families.

If you don’t have memories of decorating and eating Gingerbread cookies from your childhood, perhaps you’d like to create that memory for the children in your life.  Start with this recipe.  It’s a good one.  If you do have memories of decorating and eating gingerbread cookies, then do the happy dance! I’m sure you are going to start, or already have started, creating the same memories for the children in your life. Use this recipe, use the recipe that your grandmother used…, just get started!  It is, after all, the beginning of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies!

Save this recipe; it’s not just for Christmas.  Cut the dough into pumpkins, bats, ghosts and witches… It’s perfect for Halloween!  The same pumpkin cutter, along with leaves, pilgrims and turkeys, make it a good cookie for Thanksgiving, too.  And hearts, cupids, X’s and O’s, along with pink, red and white Royal Icing, make it a very good cookie for Valentine’s day <3

Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup light molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ½ cups flour

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy–at least 5 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in molasses and vinegar.
  3. In another bowl stir ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into flour.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture.  (Dough will be very soft)
  4. Divide dough into fourths, and place into a large Ziploc bag and place in freezer for an hour.  (I prefer to let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator, because the dough is VERY firm, and difficult to roll when out of the freezer.) Dough can be made up to two days ahead.  When ready to bake proceed as below.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Gently roll dough to ¼ inch thickness.  Cut into shapes. Re-roll scraps. This recipe will make a lot of cookies, but the number depends on the size of the cookie cutters used.  I think you’ll get at least 4 dozen 3 inch cookies out of this recipe.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for ten to twelve minutes.  Remove to racks to cool.
  8. Store baked cookies in an airtight container.

Royal Icing

3 Tablespoons meringue powder (available at Michael’s, specialty baking stores and many upscale grocery stores)
1/3 cup warm water (or more, add additional water 1 Tablespoon at a time)
4 ½ cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. Beat ingredients together with an electric mixer.
  2. When combined increase speed to high and beat for seven to ten minutes.  Place in decorator bag with a decorator tip.
  3. Decorate cookies!
  4. There will be a lot of Royal Icing for this cookie recipe. (Almost double the amount you’ll need).  Gingerbread cookies look good with plain white Royal Icing, but icing can also be colored with paste food coloring.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Hopefully we’ll be able to meet back here SOON for some more baking!

16 Sep 2010 Gingerbread Biscotti

The first of my gingerbread posts of the season: gingerbread biscotti. This biscotti is not sweet and it’s perfect crumbly, the perfect, light “little something” with a fall cup of tea or coffee. I am quite proud of this recipe.  I did my homework before I made it.  I looked at a lot of gingerbread biscotti recipes. I choose the highest concentration of ginger to flour and the highest concentration of overall spices to flour. I wanted something that screamed gingerbread, but didn’t offend. The finishing touch of white chocolate is optional, but I think it fancies up a plain biscotti quite nicely 🙂 .

Gingerbread Biscotti

1/3 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp ground cloves

Icing

White chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups)
Cinnamon Sugar (1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Beat butter with brown sugar and molasses until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in baking powder.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In another bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  • Beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  • Divide dough in half. With flour covered hands shape each half into a log about 12 inches by 2 inches.

  • Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool on cookie sheet for an hour.
  • Transfer log to a cutting board and cut each loaf on the diagonal into slices, each slice about 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices, cut side down, on a cookie sheet and bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn slices over. Return to oven and cook for an additional 8 minutes. Cool slices on a wire rack.

  • Melt about 1 cup of white chocolate.
  • Finish Option #1: Dip the bottoms of each slice into white chocolate and then into cinnamon sugar mixture. Lay on wire rack to dry.
  • Finish Option #2: Place remaining chocolate in a heavy duty Ziploc bag and MW for 45-60 sec on 50% power. Squish chocolate to bottom corner of bag. Snip off corner and drizzle chocolate over one side of the biscotti. Let dry.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today…, come back again soon!