Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies
GINGERBREAD SNOWFLAKE COOKIES
Oven: 350 degrees F
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not black strap)
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted with:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat well.
In separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Stir into butter/molasses mixture until very well combined. You might have to use your hands. Be careful, I once burnt out a stand mixer's motor trying to mix this together. Your hands are a great mixing tool.
Divide into 2 portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1/4 inch thick. Add more flour as necessary. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Re-roll scraps and keep going until you have used all the dough.
Bake 8-10 minutes on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cool on sheet for a few minutes then move to wire rack until completely cooled.
Pipe snowflake design with royal icing (recipe follows):
3 tablespoons meringue powder (found in the baking aisle or in cake decorating section of craft store)
(and safer than using raw egg whites)
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons water
Beat the above ingredients together for up to 10 minutes, until soft peaks form. Keep it covered with a damp paper towel to prevent a crust from forming on the icing in the bowl.
Pipe onto cookies using a pastry bag and a medium writing tip (or fill a heavy-weight zipper food storage bag with icing and clip a tiny piece off one corner. This is your writing tip. When done, close open end with a twist-tie.)
Let dry completely (overnight is good).
Photo: my gingerbread snowflake cookies from Christmas '10