What in the picture doesn’t belong…Looks like a safe place for a wedding ring, don’t you think? Reason I didn’t have it on my finger is I didn’t want to get it all gooey when needing the gingerbread dough…Don’t tell my husband!
About a month ago some of my girlfriends scheduled a girl’s night which happened to be Saturday night. After going back and forth in deciding what to do, go out for dinner, movie, games…I came up with the idea of decorating Christmas cookies, since it is that time of year! So Saturday night, a few of us who live in Northwest Indiana headed to Joyce’s apartment near U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox Stadium) on the Southside of Chicago. We ordered Connies pizza and then went to it with the decorating (while drinking warm apple cider). I was in charge of baking the cookies and decided to make some sugar cookies, which I will post later and these Gingerbread cookies. We had a blast decorating and decided that cookies need to be decorated more often throughout the year, instead of just once a year, so this probably won’t be the last time we do this!
I was very happy with how these gingerbread cookies turned out, especially with using my silicon baking mats. Love them! I would buy everyone two of them if I had enough $$, but unfortuatly our garage fridge/freezer died who knows when (thank goodness it’s been extremely cold to keep the food mostly frozen) so we’ll be putting some of our saved up money into a replacement soon. But I suggest putting this baking mat on your Christmas list if it’s not too late!
So here’s the recipe. I suggest you read it through before starting. It’s more of a hand mixing recipe then an electric mixer, although I’m sure you could use an electric mixer. I just put my arm to work…I guess that explains the strange pain in my forearm the past 2 days!
(Recipe from: Epicurious.com)
2 /3 cup molasses (not robust)
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into Tbsps
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Bring molasses, brown sugar and spices to a boil in a 4 or 5 quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat. Stir in baking soda (mixture will foam up), then stir in butter 3 pieces at a time, letting each addition melt before adding next, until all butter is melted. Add egg and stir until combined, then stir in 3 3/4 cups flour and the salt.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface (a silicon baking mat is recommended to make things easier) and knead, dusting with as much of remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to prevent sticking, until soft and easy to handle, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Halve dough, then wrap 1 half in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.
Roll out remaining dough into a 14-inch round (1/8 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface (a silicon baking mat is recommended to make things easier). Cut out as many cookies as possible with cutters and carefully transfer with offset spatula to 2 buttered large baking sheets, arranging them about 1 inch apart.
Bake cookies in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are slightly darker, 10 to 12 minutes total (watch carefully toward end of baking; cookies can burn easily). Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (re-roll once).
**Note about baking, I didn’t have a problem with the cookies burning. I think I may have cooked another couple minutes longer then suggested.**
Decorate cookies as desired.