BREADS, DESSERTS

Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas is just around the corner, Christmas you feel it in the air! Now is time for cooking & baking, we’ve been waiting all year and it’s finally here! I have for you one of my favorite recipe for Christmas season, Gingerbread cookies!

Did you say were ready for your house, your building and your entire neighborhood to smell so many flavors and spices like ginger, cloves, allspices, nutmeg, cinnamon & honey or molasses? The varieties are unlimited, gingerbread may refer to a cake, or type of cookie or biscuit or a very spicy ginger shortbread! In Germany gingerbread is made in two forms: a soft form called Lebkuchen and a harder form, particularly associated with carnivals and street markets such as the Christmas markets that occur in many German towns. The hard gingerbread is made in decorative shapes, which are then further decorated with sweets and icing. The tradition of cutting gingerbread into shapes takes many other forms and exists in many countries, a well-known example being the gingerbread man .

Let’s start!

Key ingredients for Gingerbread Cookies are:

  1. Spices & molasses or honey for amazing flavor!
  2. Egg so the gingerbread cookies have structure and richness!
  3. Brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar. We want brown caramelized colour in this recipe!

How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies:

After they’ve baked and cooled, its time to make your magic tricks! Make some smiles, eyes, bow-ties, buttons, squiggles, whatever your gingerbread cookie loving heart desires. Also, this is going to be really funny if you have a friend or a little baker in the kitchen with you. You can use my recipe for Royal Icing, see below!

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 500g all-purpose flour or (405 Type)
  • 145g soft unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 160g honey or molasses
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Royal Icing:

  • 45g pasteurized egg whites
  • 300g icing sugar
  • some drops of fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Use a large bowl and hand-held mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter for some minutes, until become smooth and creamy and then add the brown sugar & honey or molasses and continue to beat on medium speed until combined.
  2. Next, beat in egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, the flour, baking soda, baking powder, all the spices, salt and pepper. On low speed at mixer or with your hands and a spatula, slowly mix into wet ingredients until combined. The dough is going to be chewy, smooth and shiny!
  4. Then, divide dough in half, wrap them and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 3 days. Chilling is obligatory for this soft cookie dough. Usually I chill mine overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove from the fridge 1 chilled cookie dough, flour a work surface and use a rolling pin to open the dough. The first few rolls are always hard, but the dough is so soft and smooth and re-rolling is easier. BE CAREFULL, don’t overuse the dough, because then is going to be hard to make and remove the shapes. If is too warm, then wrap the dough again and place it in the fridge until is total cooled!
  6. Cut into shapes, place shapes 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Reroll dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Bake your gingerbread cookies for about 9-10 minutes. If your cookie cutters are smaller than 4 inches, bake for about 8 minutes! If your cookie cutters are larger, then bake for 11 minutes. BE CAREFULL, the longer the cookies bake, the crunchier they’ll be. Let your cookies to cool completely, then decorate with my royal icing recipe or as desired.
  8. Keep your cookies fresh covered at room temperature up to 1 week or the unbaked dough keep it in the freezer up to 3 months! Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

For the Royal Icing:

  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually add the icing sugar 100g at a time, and beat again on medium-low speed. Add the lemon juice drops and beat until stiff peaks form and the icing is no longer shiny, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Use it immediately or place the icing into an airtight container. You can keep royal icing in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

Don’t forget to tag us #foodenyo on Instagram if you remake this one! We’d love to see your recreations!

Merry Christmas,

Foodenyo

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