Monday, January 4, 2010

christmas baking - gingerbread cookies!

The twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and extend until Three Kings Day, or Epiphany. It seemed the perfect way for me to complete all my holiday plans, with family here to help. We baked gingerbread cookies, rolling out the dough and cutting the shapes.

Here are a few of the men that survived with heads. Fyn liked eating the heads off as soon as they hit the cookie sheet... The recipe is from a friend, who found it in Martha Stewart. I tried to find a link for you but there are thousands there! So I wrote it out below...

While we were making the frosting for the three kings cake today, I spread a little on a cookie, which made it feel like dancing!

Crisp Gingerbread Cookies
6c sifted all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
1c (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I used Willow Run soy margarine to be dairy-free)
1c dark brown sugar, packed
4t ground ginger
4t ground cinnamon
1 1/2t ground cloves
1 1/2t salt
1t finely ground pepper - yes, that's right, black pepper! it's the gingery "snap" you'll taste.
2 large eggs
1 c unsulfured molasses

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices, salt and pepper, then eggs and molasses. Add in flour mixture on low speed. Divide into thirds; wrap in wax paper or plastic. Chill at least one hour.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8" thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to baking sheets (silpat mats were recommended, but my cookie sheets were ungreased and it worked out fine). Refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes (skipped this step...) Bake 8-10 minutes or until crisp but not darkened. Cool on wire racks and decorate.

If you want an easy solution to decorating, you can sprinkle sugar on before baking. Mine were unfrosted and that seemed to be good for a little guy. Martha recommends royal icing, but I don't have time or energy for that!

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