Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Gingerbread People Recipe


This year we got a little adventurous with our cookie making and tried some new recipes. One of those recipes was for gingerbread cookies. Little did we know how delicious these cookies would be! I’m pretty sure they ended up being everyone’s favorite cookie this year. Anytime I asked Levi what kind of cookie he wanted he would say “a Christmas cookie” which meant a gingerbread cookie. And I’m pretty sure Mike shed a tear when he found out the last cookie had been eaten. We will definitely be making these for years to come! 


While I do hate rolling out any type of cookie dough I found that if you roll this out between cling wrap that it was tolerable. The more I rolled the more I got the hang of it. The same goes for decorating the cookies. This was a new territory for me. I’ve never made or used royal icing. At first I was scared of it but the longer I decorated the more I got into it and the more I wanted to do. 

This turned into me rushing to finish so Levi and I would get to church on time (Mike had left early for a meeting). I rushed around, icing the final cookies, washing dishes, eating icing (opps!!) and getting Levi ready. I told him we were going to be late for church and kept telling him to hurry up. We took our time driving sped down the road as quickly as traffic would allow and when we got to church there were hardly any cars there. I was confused because we were having our candlelight service. I dropped Levi off at his class (the teachers hadn’t even turned on the light yet) and went into the church (which was empty). At this point it finally dawned on me that we had arrived at church 30 minutes early… at least we weren’t late…  


Enough rambling - on to the recipe. I’m sure you aren’t going to make these anytime soon (unless you have a gingerbread cookie craving) but seriously I will be sharing these again closer to Christmas just in case you’ve forgotten and need reminded that they are a MUST MAKE!!


Gingerbread People Recipe (from my Williams Sonoma Baking Book)


Ingredients:

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
·         1/2 cup granulated sugar
·         1 cup molasses
·         1 egg
·         5 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 tsp. baking soda
·         1 Tbs. ground ginger
·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         1/2 tsp. ground cloves
·         1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your finger and thumb. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the molasses. Add the egg and beat until the mixture is blended.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt together. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, form into a large, smooth mound. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, shape into disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough between your sheet of cling wrap to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Using gingerbread cookie cutters 3 to 5 inches tall, cut out figures. Transfer the cookies to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, then gather up the scraps and reroll them. If the scraps of dough have become sticky, refrigerate them for 10 minutes before rerolling. For best results, do not roll the same piece of dough more than twice.

Bake the gingerbread figures until lightly browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Dress up the cooled gingerbread figures with the royal icing, sugars and other decorations. Makes 2 to 5 dozen cookies, depending on size.


Royal Icing (by Alton Brown)

Ingredients:

·         2 egg whites
·         1 tsp. of vanilla extract
·         4 cups of confectioners' sugar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy.

2. Add confectioners' sugar slowly on a low speed, once all combined, turn speed up to high and beat until mixture turns 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.


Note: If you want to flood your cookie with icing, thin the icing with a teaspoon of water at a time until you get your icing to correct consistency.

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