On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Gingerbread Cookies

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Here’s another thing I’m learning about baking at this time of the year. Again through Pinterest and following certain food bloggers on Twitter, December (or post Thanksgiving) is all about baking cookies. Again another thing that I think is typically American.

I’ve never made Gingerbread cookies. I had to buy cookie cutters. And my lovely dear friend Yvonne surprised me with a cookie cutter all the way from Holland.

I do find we’re lacking in certain things in New Zealand. I guess we’ve yet to get on the cookie cutter bandwagon. Although today I found a better selection on the Cake Shop’s website. I ordered several cookie cutters, especially the snow flake. They will arrive too late for this year, but next year I’ll be well and truly sorted.

I decided to follow advice I’d read over several posts on Gingerbread cookies and toss out all my old spices and buy fresh spices. I found most of what I wanted at the Mediterranean Food Company. I would have gone to a supermarket that sold the Spice Trader spices too, but I was heading to the MFC for other stuff so it made sense to buy from there.

Gingerbread-2

I also had to buy Molasses. I did toss up whether to use the Treacle that I had in the pantry. But I opted for going the “American way” and following the recipe to the “T”.

Gingerbread Cookies by Annie’s Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1½ tsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1½ tsp. ground cloves
    2 tsp. ground ginger
    1 tsp. ground nutmeg
    16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup molasses
    1 large egg

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Mix in the molasses and egg until combined.
  • Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
  • Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.
  • Heat the oven to 180°Celsius.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness.
  • Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Decorate as desired.

Gingerbread1

This recipe makes a LOT. The recipe also says to put the dough into the fridge. Well I put it into the freezer in little logs (wrapped in Glad Wrap). Because I’m using little cookie cutters I got so many out of a little amount of Gingerbread dough.

Unfortunately I didn’t turn my tray half way through cooking so those cookies closest to the back of the over overcooked. We still ate them.

Cookies-2

These cookies are quite crunch, but not hard, break your teeth sort of crunchy.

And look at that cute Christmas Tree. When I saw it I commented that it looked like it was from a Dr. Seuss book. It just had the quirky look to me. And given my favourite book in the whole wide word is I do not like Green Eggs and Ham, I was chuffed to get this cookie cutter.

XmasTree

The cookie dough in the photo above is from one of the logs of dough I froze. This is a week later. It tastes no different and cooked just the same.

For me these cookies have quite a bitter taste. I’m pretty sure it’s the Molasses. It’s not my favourite Gingerbread flavour, but since I was making the cookies for another cupcake recipe I had (post coming) I wasn’t too concerned. I don’t think I would want to chow down on a batch of these, but to use as decorations/ornaments they’re perfect. Atop the cupcakes I made they also took on a slightly different taste, they weren’t quite as bitter thanks to the icing that had done two things, softened the cookie and added a little sweetness to it.

It’s always good to try new things, next year I’ll tweak the recipe, either use Golden Syrup or Treacle and perhaps change the spices a little. But as for the dough came together nicely so I’m really happy with the consistency.

Of course I have not now think about icing the cookies. I ordered another couple of Wilton #1 tips today so that I can make up several different colours of Royal Icing and give another new thing a go. Somehow I think  I’ll need a lot of luck, and a steadier hand than I have.

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