Sunday, 23 December 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Tried this recipe for the first time et voila! Awesome cookies! The empty tuperware container in my kitchen speaks for itself. On top of pulling off some extra awesome, perfect looking gingerbread cookies, I also pulled off royal icing quite well. First attempt! I must admit, it was time consuming. AND my arms may have hurt a tad the next day from all the muscle involved in piping the icing onto these babies. But I think you'll agree that they are well worth it.

Recipe I used:

Yields 2-3 dozen cookies

8 tablespoons (115 grams) butter
1/3 cup (65 grams) dark brown sugar
2/3 cup (155 ml) dark molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour


1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar. Add in the molasses and egg and continue mixing. Mix in the baking soda, spices, and salt. Gradually add the flour, stirring until well combined.

2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour to firm up the dough.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick and cut out the cookies using cookie cutters. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie. Remove and allow to rest on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


**Note! This recipe uses raw eggs. Meringue powder is used in a lot of royal icing recipes, however I did not have any at my disposal, so I opted for a recipe using egg whites instead. If you feel uncomfortable using raw eggs, I suggest travelling to Bulk Barn or Michaels to pick up some meringue powder. As another alternative, you can buy egg whites in a carton that have been pasteurized.

Further, if you want to make designs like in the pictures, you will need pastry bags & tips. Only a simple, small round tip is needed for these. Disposable Wilton bags are easily found in baking/craft stores along with the tips and couplers. I know Bulk Barn sells them individually, instead of within large packs.

3 egg whites
~4 cups icing sugar (depending on desired consistency)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp cream of tartar
Any desired colour

1. Beat the egg whites until you reach the soft peak stage. Add in the sugar & cream of tartar and continue to beat until there are stiff peaks.
2. Add in the icing sugar, a bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  
    ***This is important: To make beautiful royal icing designs, you need to have two      consistencies of icing, 1) stiff, that will pipe well to outline the cookies, and 2) runny (think the consistency of honey), to flood the cookies within the stiffer, piped outline.
3. Divide the icing up into however many batches you want for different colours.

To make the designs, fill one pastry bag with the stiff icing. Using precision, pipe an outline around the outside of each cookie.

Now, with a second pastry bag filled with the runnier icing, pipe a bunch in and watch it spread around the cookie until the surface within the outline is totally covered and smooth! (you may have to tweak it a bit, depending on how stubborn it chooses to be)

Add any desired sprinkles :)

Allow these to dry overnight before serving.

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