Saturday, April 7, 2012
Iced Gingerbread Cookies for Spring
Jill and I made iced cookies for Easter weekend. Mine are more spring-like than Easter-like because I forgot to buy bunny and egg shaped cookie cutters. I've wanted to make decorated cookies forever, but have avoided doing so because I'm so impatient and using a pastry bag is a little bit tortuous for me. The cookies were much easier to make than I was expecting, and they tasted great. I made the gingerbread recipe from Cookie Craft Christmas and made a generic royal icing recipe flavored with lemon extract. The cool lemon and spicy gingerbread really worked well together.
The decorating part wasn't too painful. I was rushing a little bit so I didn't do the tidiest job, but overall I think the cookies are pretty darn cute. Please check out Jill's cookies, which I'm quite sure are adorable.
Rolled Gingerbread Cookies
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350F.
Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, salt, and orange zest in a medium bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar with your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and mix until well blended.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until the two are thoroughly combined.
Turn dough onto a work surface and divide into three equal portions. Form each one into a rough disk.
Roll out one disk of dough on a piece of wax paper until it is about 1/4" thick. Place the rolled out dough onto a cookie sheet. Repeat with the two other disks of dough. Refrigerate all three pieces of dough for about 20 to 30 minutes.
When the dough is firm and stiff, transfer it from the refrigerator to a flat surface. Work with one piece of dough at a time, leaving the others to continue chilling. Using a cookie cutter, cut your desired shapes. Try to get as many cookies as possible out of each rolled-out piece of dough.
Remove excess dough from around the shapes. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Combine the dough scraps into a ball and roll it out and then cut out the cookies. Continue until all the dough has been used up.
Bake the cookies on the middle rack for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the cookies start to turn a deeper brown around the edges.
Cool the cookies completely before decorating.