Friday, December 24, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies

To me, it's hardly Christmas without Gingerbread cookies. It's another thing my Mom used to make when I was a kid. Between the Zucchini muffins and these I'm getting all nostalgic up in here. I'll try to keep the ramblings about Christmases past to a minimum here.

I made these this year for John's and my family and took them with us on the annual Christmas tour and I'm pretty sure they're almost gone now. I think that means they were a success.

Gingerbread Cookies
Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes 

3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup molasses

½ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk 

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Set aside.  

In an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and combine on low speed. Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing after each addition. You might need to work the dough with your hands after the last addition to make sure the dough is combined. Divide the dough into thirds and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut with desired cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes on the pan then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the icing, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until the two just come together. You want the icing to be stiff so that when you pipe it onto the cookies it won't puddle out and make the gingerbread men look like they have googly eyes. If your icing is a little too runny, keep adding powdered sugar until the lines from mixing it don't sink into the rest of the icing. Spoon the icing into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with one corner trimmed off. Pipe onto cooled cookies as desired. 


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