If Christmas would have only one scent, it should definitely be the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread. Making them takes a lot of time but it’s well worth it for my recipe is 100% guaranteed to be the best of the best you’ll ever taste. The dough is so rich and buttery so it’s a little hard to handle but with practice and patience you’ll love and keep this recipe. The procedure may seem overwhelming but with a little time management, it’s actually an easy and fun project.
Here’s what I did:
- Day 1 (Wednesday ): Get the Gingerbread ingredients, parchment papers and gift packages.
- Day 2 ( Thursday ) : ( spent 15 minutes ) Make about 8pcs piping cones from parchment papers.
- Day 3 (Friday ) : ( Spent about 30 minutes ) weighing and mixing the ingredients to make the dough–> refrigerate
- Day 4 (Saturday ): ( Spent about 2hrs ) Cut the dough in shapes –> Bake –> store in airtight containers
- Day 5 ( Sunday ) : ( Spent about 3 to 4 hrs) Time to Decorate: Make the icing and decorate the Gingerman –> Let dry –> Store in an airtight cookie jar and package others for gift giving.
Day 5 seemed like a long time but I promise that it wouldn’t seem that long when your having fun decorating.
Before you start using this recipe, I strongly recommend that you invest on a kitchen scale if you don’t have one whether digital or manual. If your serious about baking, it’s actually an essential tool to have. They’re of course a lot more pricey than measuring cups but I’m sure that ones you have tried using a scale, you’ll never go back to measuring cups because you’ll realize that they just made your baking life so much easier and perfect. Precision is key to the success of many dessert recipes, and simply using measuring cups will not give you the precise result all the time.
I had tried using cups with this recipe when I couldn’t find my scale but had a hard time adjusting the doughiness of the dough, someone without or little baking experience would have thrown the dough away thinking either my recipe is wrong or the measurements are wrong. So for the sake of your time and ingredients, get a kitchen scale and and use the metric measurements ( grams ) instead of the US standard measurements ( measuring cups and spoons ).
OKs! so here’s my tried and proud Gingerbread Recipe: ( Makes about 32 cookies )
1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter on high speed. Add the sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add in egg, molasses and vanilla extract. Mix well.
2. Spoon in the dry ingredients, mix well on low speed. Divide the dough into 3 portions then wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. ( dough can be prepared for up to 2 days ahead )
Note: This is a rich dough recipe so the dough will not be as easy to handle as bread dough or sugar cookie dough, if you know what I mean. Therefore, you need to use parchment papers and a few additional flour to make rolling easier.
3. Preheat the oven 350 degree. Place one dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Top with another parchment paper and begin rolling the dough to a little more than 1/8 inch thick ( see 1st photo below ) . Use the cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes.
4. Peel out the excess dough as shown in the photo below. To place the shaped dough into the baking tray, gently lift up the parchment paper with the dough then turn it upside down to transfer it to the baking tray. ( see 2nd photo below )
5. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the dough.
Bake for 8 minutes for a scrumptiously chewy cookies; And about 10minutes for a scrumptiously crunchy cookies. Let the cookies cool down at room temp. before lifting them up from the pan. Once cooled, time to DECORATE!
NEXT, MAKE THE SWEETEST DEAREST ICING :
- 3 egg whites
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 4.5 Cups powdered sugar
- Food coloring
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until light and bubbly. Add the vanilla extract and sugar a little at a time till desired consistency is attained. Add water one teaspoon at a time if it’s too thick.
Divide the icing into 5 then add different food colorings. Spoon them in the piping cones like the photo shown above. Time to DECORATE.
ARTISTIC TIP : For best result plan and jot down your design ideas in a piece of paper ahead of time so you won’t take too long thinking about your design during designing and also, this way every single one of your gingerman is a masterpiece*
After decorating your cookies with icings and sweets, let it set completely at room temperature, which will take about an hour depending on the thickness of your icing.
Finally, store the cookies in airtight container between parchment papers for up to 1.5 weeks.
Don’t forget to leave some for Santa 🙂
© 2012 Abigail C. Lu / Artistic Milestones