I do realize that this month’s cookie donation seems slightly “holiday-nostalgic”, but I actually made these cookies in December.
So I’m good, right?
(But please don’t tell the auction winner that I froze them for two weeks before I delivered them!)
I’d been hungry for gingerbread since teaching The Gingerbread Boy unit. Over, and over, and over. And finally, during winter break I had a chance to make these beauties.
After sifting through at least 30 recipes, I came up with a winner:
wait for it
wait for it
Gingerbread Men Cookies (clever name ‘eh?!)
3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses (can anyone tell me what sulfured molasses is???)
1 In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
2 Cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
3 Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Make shapes with cookie cutters.
4 Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
I tried so hard to avoid egg yolk in the icing. But The Flash’s graham cracker house was totally falling apart with my pathetic other attempts, so I caved. (Besides, although my kids don’t know it yet, I do eat raw cookie dough….).
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
The traditional way to make Royal Icing is to beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. This takes a long time. Add more powdered sugar if needed. Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes. (Or use a plastic sandwich bag, with the tip of one corner of the bag cut off.)