This past weekend, my son asked to make gingerbread cookies - he can devour them like Cookie Monster. Since I like to cook with him, I thought that it would be fun. It seems that making and decorating gingerbread is quickly becoming a Christmas tradition and I am always on the lookout for things that can make decorating fun and easy.
I didn't have everything that I would need to make and decorate the cookies, so I headed out to the store and the seasonal isle. There I found a bucket of various cookie cutters and what looked like glue. It turned out to be squeezable white icing in a bottle by Wilton and has now become one of my favorite decorating tools - everyone loved it, from my 7 year old to my Mom and Dad. We used it to add mini M&Ms, sprinkles and nonpareils.
So once I had the necessary tools and decorations, I then turned to my bible - the Joy of Cooking for the gingerbread recipe.
Recipe from the Joy Of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, 1985:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Blend the butter and sugar until creamy.
- Beat in molasses.
- Sift the flour, then add all spices and resift dry ingredients.
- Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture in about three parts, alternately with the water.
- Roll the dough to any thickness you like and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
- Decorate before baking with small raisins, bits of candied fruits, red-hots, marshmallows and citron; use icing and sprinkles after baking.
- Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or longer, according to their thickness. Test for doneness by pressing the dough with your finger. I it springs back after pressing, they are ready to be cooled on a rack.
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
A few drops of water
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and water. Add a drop or two of food coloring and use to decorate cookies.
This year, I omitted the icing recipe and used already prepared, multicolored icings. We all had fun and even shared some with friends and family. I hear that Santa is very fond of gingerbread too!