Wednesday, January 2, 2013
adapted from Baking Bites
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon (freshly) ground nutmeg
pinch ground black pepper (optional)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup coffee or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the molasses, water/coffee, and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces in small bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
For crispy cookies, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to just under 1/8-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of your choice to cut dough. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Decorate with favorite items (especially red-hot candy!). Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Cookies should be slightly firm to the touch at the edges and will be lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. For softer cookies, follow the same directions but roll the dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness.
When cool, decorate with lemon icing.
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 TSP lemon juice
In a small bowl , combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. You can substitute milk or cream plus 1 teaspoon lemon extract, if no fresh lemon juice is available. Add enough liquid to make the icing thick and pourable, but not runny. Start with 1-2 TB and add more as necessary. Stir until very smooth. Scrape into a piping bag with a fine tip or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off and pipe onto the cooled cookies. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes, until firm, before storing the cookies in an airtight container.
We prefer gingerbread cookies to cut-out sugar cookies. Do you have any fun cookie cutter sets? What sort of dough do you prefer for cookie cutter usage??