Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day 11: Gingerbread


With only two recipes to go, I opted for a very classic Christmas cookie. I don't have any Christmasy cookie cutters but I do have an adorable set of Easter cookie cutters, which explains the gingerbread ducks.

Gingerbread can be a tricky to work with because the dough tends to get a little sticky but just keep the dough very cold when you work with it. Stick the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes if you need to. For chewy gingerbread roll it out a little thick, about 1/4 inch, and bake them for a short amount of time and leave them a tad underbaked. For drier cookies used for decorations, bake them longer to harden them. For thin and crispy gingersnap-like cookies, roll the dough thinner and bake them a little longer.

Gingerbread Cookies
3 C AP Flour
10 Tbsp (1 stick + 2 Tbsp) butter
1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
1/2 C molasses
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp powdered ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Beat the butter until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat until evenly mixed. Then add the egg, molasses, and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.

Gather the dough in a mound and flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Lightly flour the dough and roll out the dough in between two pieces of parchment to about 1/4 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of parchment then flip the dough over and peel off the bottom layer of parchment. Use a cookie cutter of your choice to cut out pieces of dough. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, the cookie will still be soft. Do not overbake.

Gather up the scraps in a mound and rechill the dough to roll it out again, otherwise it will be too sticky to work with.

Day 1: White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies
Day 2: Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam
Day 3: Pumpkin Butter Thumbprints
Day 4: Butterscotch Cookies with Hazelnuts
Day 5: Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever with Chocolate Chunks, Pecans, and Dried Cherries
Day 6: Torta Sbrisolona
Day 7: Alfajores
Day 8: Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Day 9: Brown Sugar Cookie
Day 10: Flaky Black Sesame Cookie

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