who doesn’t love a good spicy gingerbread cookie?!
it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy these delightful cookies. <<now, i will say i’m a chocolate chip girl through and through>>, but a good little christmas baking tradition is perfect for kindling some christmas cheer!
for the last few weeks holden has been looking forward to making gingerbread cookies with mama. i’m going to say about 100% of his excitement is based on the conclusion that these are e d i b l e [unlike his gingerbread house], and we get to make homemade royal icing. icing is his favorite –you may even get a puppy dog pant out of him for that one!
we’ve been talking about it constantly for the last few days, since he loves to admire his leaning tower of gingerbread house. and well, today was the day!
after breakfast this morning i pulled out a perfect batch of dough that had been chilling in the refrigerator for an hour. earlier i had whipped up this recipe:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 T ground ginger
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper (weird, but necessary! that little bite!)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
splash of vanilla extract
in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices. set aside.
in another bowl beat the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until it’s light and fluffy. [my arms were killing me!] add the egg, vanilla and molasses and stir/whisk until combined. gradually add the flour mixture slowly combine. the dough will be quite thick.
divide the dough in thirds, form each third into a ball, flatten, and wrap with plastic. chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before you’re ready to begin rolling out the dough.
preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one of the thirds of dough on a lightly floured surface. using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 1/8-inch thick. cut the dough using any cookie cutters you like [we chose the classic gingerbread man, a christmas tree and candy canes!]. transfer the cookie cut outs to a baking sheet.
bake the cookies 8 to 10 minutes. they should become slightly crisp but not darker in color. let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring. i noticed ours cracked a little, but our oven bakes on convection over here, so i have to be careful of timing. i may have left them in a minute too long.
1/2 – 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
splash of milk
whisk the confectioner’s sugar with about a tablespoon of milk + a splash of vanilla (about 1/4 tsp). add slowly, so that your icing doesn’t become to runny in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is smooth. the mixture should slowly drip, but not run, when poured from a spoon. if the mixture is too runny, add a little bit more sugar. if it’s too thick, add a little bit more milk.
when your cookies are completely cool and you’re ready to decorate them, spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe the icing onto the cookies. (you can also use a thick plastic ziploc bag with one corner of the bag cut off in just like we did!)
deanie loved baking with mama this morning! i even asked him to go get dadee and grayer to which he responded, “they’re playing. okay, mama? i’ll just help you by myself.” gosh, kiddo. whatever you want! let’s just have some me and you time. he loved rolling out the dough the most and adding “sprinkles” [aka extra flour] to the dough as he rolled. maybe next year his cookie cutting skills will improve as he likes to repeat stab the cutter in the same spot about six times before we put the cookie on the pan. mama had fun icing some of the cookies, and holden really loved adding “more icing” to his. he was so proud. he requested several licks of icing while working, and insisted that he required an iced gingerbread cookie of his choice for lunch. i’d say, we had a great day baking!