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Gingerbread Cookies

December 22, 2010

I obviously don’t post everything I eat on this blog.  Sometimes I make bad things.  Sometimes I take bad pictures (I know, can you believe it!?  There are pictures worse than the ones I actually do post that don’t reach my ever so low bar).  Sometimes I think they just don’t fit the theme of the blog: mostly healthy.

(That yule log doesn’t count in having to meet the theme requirement.  Any dish that I spend a half-day on is going to make it onto http://www.brannyboilsover.com with no questions asked).

But I think I should add another distinguishing criteria to a recipe’s blogworthiness.  If you use that recipe more than three times in a given week, then yes, it belongs on the foodblog.

If your husband begs for the cookies and your neighbor comments that they’re really good, then that food is also blogworthy.  If the original recipe source happens to refer to them as The World’s Best Gingerbread, then, yes, blogworthy.  Regardless of the butter and the fact they really are not “mostly healthy.”

So here you go: no brannyesque modifications made.  Perfectly gingery, spicy, cutout cookies.  They really should be made any time of year, not just three times during 1 week in December.

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (So Tasty, So Yummy)
3 cups flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
¾ cup molasses
2 tablespoons milk

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda until well combined.

Add butter pieces and process until mixture resembles a very fine meal. Add molasses and milk, processing until mixture is evenly moistened and forms a soft mass. Divide dough in half and place each piece between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll until about ¼-inch-thick. Place in freezer for at least 20 minutes but overnight is fine as well.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove dough from freezer and cut into gingerbread or desired shapes. Place on parchment-lined sheet pans and bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Cool and decorate.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Gingerbread Icing

I recommend two recipes for creating the white icing that is used to decorate these gingerbread men.  They are both variations of royal icing and harden perfectly but taste great.  Both recipes make a very large amount, so you may want to halve the recipes.

Royal Icing with Egg whites (Alton Brown)
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites (about 3 large whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Royal Icing without Egg Whites (Joy of Baking)
4 cups confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 – 3/4 cup warm water

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. To cover or ‘flood’ the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.

The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    December 22, 2010 8:33 am

    What about the icing? Is there special gingerbread icing?

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      December 22, 2010 8:35 am

      Very good point, Jill. I’ll update with the icing recipe.

      • Jill permalink
        December 23, 2010 4:09 pm

        Yea, Thanks. I gotta have the icing! These gingerbread men sounds yummy yummy!

  2. mama permalink
    December 22, 2010 8:34 am

    i had one of these yesterday, and it must have been two weeks old, and also went through the mail. it was just wonderful! i recommend these without reservation!

  3. December 26, 2010 9:16 pm

    These cookies look awesome! Love the cute icing!

  4. Kate permalink
    January 6, 2011 10:56 pm

    It’s the gingerbread, man. Good stuff. We made some gingerbread-inspired waffles 3x in less than two weeks, and you’d better believe I blogged those suckers!

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