Gingerbread Cookies

by Dec 27, 2007


I’m not a fan of the beautifully decorated cookie built to last for weeks on end. More times than not, these pretties taste ghastly — cloying frosting in scary colors and hard, tasteless cookies underneath, somewhere. I think cookies should taste great. If they are cute too, that’s a bonus.

This recipe yields a spicy, not too sweet, thick and tender gingerbread cookie. The blackstrap molasses keeps the sweetness down and lends a beautiful color. If you’re in the mood to decorate, the royal icing recipe follows.

Gingerbread Cookies
makes approximately 3 dozen 5 inch cookies

3 cups whole wheat white, or whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) organic unsalted butter
1 cup organic blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup sucanat (or substitute additional dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs

1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and salt in bowl.

2. Cream butter with sugars and molasses until fluffy then beat in eggs.

3. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Dough will be soft.

4. Lay out 3 sheets of plastic wrap and place 1/3 of the dough in the middle of each sheet. Pat into a disk shape and wrap in plastic. Chill dough until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out one disk of dough at a time on a lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Dip cutter into a little pile of flour on your work surface then cut dough shapes and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes. Leave on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to racks to cool. Gather scraps and re-roll once only — if you handle the dough too much, the cookies will be tough.

Royal Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon dried egg whites
a few tablespoons water or milk to desired consistency

1. Whip powdered sugar, powdered egg whites, and water (or milk), a tablespoon at a time until you have a consistency that will hold its shape when piped.

2. Fill pastry bag and pipe decorations onto your cooled cookies. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a plastic bag with a tiny nip taken out of one corner. You can squeeze a line of icing from that corner of the bag to decorate your cookies. Let frosting dry completely then stack between sheets of wax or parchment paper in a cookie tin or airtight container.

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