Happy the Day Before the Day Before You Know What! It's a rainy one here in New York and the perfect kind of day for endless amounts of baking! My apartment smells like a gingerbread house - and it's perfectly delightful! It's the first time I've ever baked actual gingerbread cookies (shocker!), but I have to say it was really easy! And the best part? The decorating of course!
Christmas Gingerbread Cookies w/ Icing
3 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
1. In a large bowl or standing mixer, combine the dry ingredients: Flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
2. To the same bowl, add your butter, egg, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and lemon zest. Mix until your dough comes together. Just beyond the stage seen in this photo, it'll become shiny and more like play dough.
3. Shape your dough into a log, wrap it in plastic wrap and let the whole thing rest at room temperature for 1 hour (or you can leave it out for up to 8 hours if needed.)
4. Working in two batches, roll out your dough with a rolling pin. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough sticks to your rolling pin, use just a little extra flour on the pin.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out your gingerbread men from the rolled dough. Place the cookies about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with either silicone, parchment paper or greased. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies) at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Whatever shape you choose, cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before frosting.
6. Use a small tipped pastry bag to make lines, polka dots, or any other finely detailed pattern. I use 3 large egg whites mixed with 14 oz. of confectioner's sugar. Whisk until it begins to form peaks and voila!
The shapes I used were Christmas trees, German Shepherds, dog bones, stars, and cute little gingerbread men. Of course I had to write MaQ's name on one of them!
I went with green, red, and white colors, though you can use whatever you want! Next time I would definitely like to add in some more sparkle, with a touch of silver and/or gold.
This is a great activity to do with the kids. It's not only fun but the time spent with the ones you love is what's priceless. Enjoy and be Merry! We can't wait to show you our annual Christmas photo! Stay tuned!
Love & xx's,