Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies

Here's my first cookie recipe for the season - gingerbread snowflakes!  It's a very pretty cookie, piped with royal icing.  You can use a number of cookie cutters to achieve the snowflake look -- star, flower, scalloped, circle -- just pipe the icing as I did in the photo, and you have your own unique snowflakes.  No two are alike, you know!  Of course, you can make this dough into any shape you like, especially gingerbread men and women.  I like to make ornaments out of them by poking a hole near the top with a drinking straw before baking, and when cooled, tie with a ribbon and adorn your tree (a kitchen tree of just gingerbread cookies and metal cookie cutters is really cute).

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


  1. Thanks Colleen - they're pretty like rolled sugar cookies but pack more of a flavor punch!