I don’t know why but I’m not one to start early on making Christmas cookies. For some reason I tend to trudge along until about the week before Christmas and then suddenly the mood strikes me with full force to start making cookies. Once it grabs hold then I’m in deep. Today the mood finally struck me and I went all out in serious cookie mode. I’ll admit I don’t usually make gingerbread men or gingerbread cookies for that matter, but when I saw a picture in Donna Hay magazine with them strung along on a cute ribbon as gingerbread garland, it was so cute I had to make them.
I adapted this recipe from Sweetopia’s recipe for her gingerbread.
Gingerbread Trees frosted with Royal Icing, Sanding Sugar and Edible Glitter
It’s a “White Christmas!”
recipe: adapted from Sweetopia
yield: ~ 5-6 dozen cookies, depending on size
1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp. (125 gm) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 Cup molasses (I use Grandmas brand)
3 1/4 C (400 gm) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cream together the sugars and butter until fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the molasses and beat until combined. Note; the mixture will initially look like it will not mix together, and will remain a bit grainy looking until the flour mixture is added.
2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour and spices and salt. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Remove the cookie dough to a large bowl and separate into 3-4 balls and knead each ball of dough lightly in your hands to combine if any flour spots remain. Flatten each ball and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
3. Roll out cookie dough to 1/4 inch thick between two sheets of parchment paper. Chill shapes for 15 minutes before baking. Bake at 350° F for about 14-15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
4. Decorate if desired with royal icing. I use her technique for “10 second icing” for both outlining and flooding the cookie. Check out the blog for sweetopia.net as she has amazing tutorials and how to’s for decorating with royal icing.
4 Tbsp. meringue powder
1/2 C cold water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla
Combine the meringue powder and H2O until foamy. Add the sugar a cup at a time [if the sugar is lumpy; make sure to sift it first] and beat on low until combined. Once all the sugar is combined, turn up the mixer to high and beat for about 5 mins. until the meringue forms stiff peaks. To thin frosting for outlining and flooding; add cold water one tsp. at a time until the mixture is thinned to consistency of heavy cream. Ice the cookies and let the icing dry until the icing is totally dry.