Thursday, December 20, 2007
Gingerbread Cookies w/ Fresh Ginger
And here's the other gingerbread recipe. I really think the fresh ginger adds something to them! If you don't have fresh ginger, you can always substitute an additional 1/2 tsp. ground ginger for the 2 tsp. of fresh ginger called for in this recipe.
**Photos coming later on after I have a chance to decorate them!**
I usually get anywhere from 30-45 cookies from this recipe; depending on which cutters I use (I have a small village worth of gingerbread men cutters!)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I always use light brown sugar; since these also use molasses I don't suppose it matters if you use dark or light sugar)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, warm
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and allspice. In a large bowl (I used my KA mixer), stir together the brown sugar, butter, molasses, fresh ginger, and egg until well-blended. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Form dough into 2 flat rounds. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Lightly sprinkle rolling surface with flour. Roll one dough round to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Remove and reserve dough scraps from around each cookie - you can re-use them! Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 7-9 minutes or until cookies just begin to colour at the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough and dough scraps. Cookies can be decorated with frosting, nuts, candies, etc. once they are cooled.
Great Gingerbread Icing Ideas:
*1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1-2 tbsp. water.
*1 cup powdered sugar combined with 1-2 tbsp. water plus 1/4 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger.
*2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 tbsp. milk.
*One I haven't tried but it sounds great - mix some melted white chocolate with a little lemon extract. I made a chocolate topping for Grand Marnier cupcakes which used 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped and 1/2 tsp. vegetable shortening. For gingerbread, I'd use 3 oz. white chocolate chopped, 1/2 tsp. veg. shortening, and 1/4-1/2 tsp. lemon extract. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a double-boiler. Place the melted chocolate mix in a large Zip-Lock bag and mix in the extract by squishing the bag. Snip a corner off the bag and use this to decorate the cookies. **You may need to play around with the extract amount - I've never tried this so I honestly wouldn't know how much to use! That amount is just a guess :)
This recipe came from the December 2001/January 2002 issue of Cooking Pleasures Magazine. The name of the original recipe was "Golden Gingerbread People." This is also where I got the idea to add fresh ginger to the basic frosting. When I tried that the first time I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! :)
Tips for Rolled Cookies
I know how much of a pest rolled cookies can be so here's a couple tips to help make your life a little easier :)
*Chill the dough for an adequate amount of time. For these sugar cookies, I let mine chill for at least 4 hours. Patience is definitely a virtue when making rolled cookies!
*Keep dough that you are not rolling/cutting in the fridge.
*Flour your work surface, rolling pin, and cutters. You can always gently dust off extra flour using a pastry brush - especially important with darker cookies like gingerbread.
*Work with small pieces of dough at a time.
*Try rolling the dough between two sheets of either wax or parchment paper. You will still need a little flour on the paper but it will prevent the dough from sticking to your counter-tops, rolling pin, or cutting board.
*Remember, they are so worth it when they're all done and decorated! :)