It’s true, that talking gingerbread man in Shrek really pulled at our heartstrings when the evil prince maliciously chopped off his legs during interrogation. But alas, we all breathed a sigh of relief in the end when he came out with one leg and one crutch (forever challenging the concept of numbers) and – as an ode to Tiny Tim – said “God Bless us, every one.”
Were we worried about the little gingerbread man? Sure. Were we relieved he made it through just slightly worse for wear? Ya. Did we become gingerbread-man-tarians in efforts to launch a movement forever saving those little cookies that come alive as soon as we leave the house (cue Toy Story)? No, we’re sorry to say we did not. Instead, the tasty treat still proves to be a holiday favorite of ours and we cannot help taking enthusiastic bites out of it. We know – it sounds barbaric – but thus is the circle of life…or at least life during the holidays that is. Here are two recipes for two killer gingerbread cookie recipes (pun intended)…
Ginger Cookie Dough Recipe (Makes 3 Dozen)
From Eleni Gianopulos, Eleni’s Cookies
6 ounces unsalted butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 ½ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Preheat oven to 300º F
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and soda, and spices. Whisk together until fully combined and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Scrape bowl and add molasses. Beat on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
Scrape bowl and add eggs and vanilla.
Scrape bowl and add flour mixture beating until just combined.
Refrigerate dough for 3 hours or overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/8’’ thickness. Using your cutters, cut out holiday shapes & lift the cookies to the baking sheets.
Gather up leftover dough, roll it out again and cut out more shapes.
Bake cookies at 300º F for 14 minutes for a crisper cookie, or 350º F for 8 minutes for a softer baked cookie.
Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Royal Flood Icing
3 oz. pasteurized egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy.
2. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny.
3. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.
4. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired.
5. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired.
6. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.* For stiff “outlining” icing: Take a quarter of the icing & set aside. Use mixer or by hand slowly add confectionary sugar. Get the icing just stiff enough to create a line that traps the looser flood icing.
3 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP ground Ginger
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp ground All Spice
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Molasses
2 TBSP Maple Syrup
Your favorite White Icing, for decorating
Beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, molasses, and maple syrup.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture until just incorporated. With your hand, knead dough until smooth. Divide into 2 balls and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When ready to bake, let dough come to room temperature before rolling out. Roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Once cool, decorate cookies with icing.
Here are 5 more Holiday Cookie Recipes to peruse.