Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bake, Drink and Be Merry

gingerbread cookies
Cutout Gingerbread Cookies
While decorating for Christmas a couple of weeks ago, the husband unpacked a bucket of cookie cutters and asked what I planned to do with them. I wasn't sure what I wanted to use them for (crafting? cookies?), but I left them on the counter and they sat there, tempting me.

Finally, I asked the husband if he liked gingerbread. "I love gingerbread," he told me. Not that the man isn't appreciative, but even when I make him a really great meal, he usually tells me it's good, he likes it and I can make it again. So when he told me of his love for gingerbread, I was very excited to get the cookie cutters going.

Cutout Gingerbread Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
a dash of apple pie spice (I've yet to buy nutmeg and allspice)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg white

Combine the flour through salt in a bowl, and set aside.

Combine granulated sugar and butter and beat at medium speed in a mixer for 5 minutes. (I thought this was a bit excessive, and actually only meat the sugar and butter for about 3 minutes.)

Add molasses and egg white; beat well.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended.

Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1 hour. (I used this time to put away the clothes I'd been ignoring all week.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Working with 1 half of dough at a time (keep remaining half chilled until ready to use), roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a heavily floured surface; cut with cookie cutters. (I found the dough to be a bit crumbly, so the rolling process took quite a bit of patience.)

I almost gave up at this point ...

But I poured myself a glass of holiday cheer and kept going.

Cut as many cookies as you can, re-rolling the scraps as you go. Place gingerbread cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for about 8 minutes (or until lightly browning).

Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

About 30 minutes and one White Russian later, the husband had 50 gingerbread cookies. How'd he like them? "They don't taste like much; they kind of taste like pumpkin pie," he told me. Apparently, the husband likes gingersnaps - not gingerbread. And since I've had my share of rolling cookie dough, I guess it's time to pack up the cookie cutters. 

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