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Gingerbread Men

December 13, 2010

I apologize that I was unable to post for the last day of my cookie countdown on Friday.  I unfortunately was very sick and couldn’t even get out of bed, much less bake cookies.  Thankfully it is a new week and I am feeling MUCH better! 

A Christmas cookie countdown would not be complete without this last recipe for the most festive cookie of all: Gingerbread Men.  This recipe is one of my absolute favorites.  The cookie is soft, chewy, and seasonally delicious with its perfect blend of spices.  I wish I had a steadier hand to create cuter decorations, but I am much better at the actual baking side of cookie decorating!  If you’ve tried gingerbread cookies in the past and weren’t a huge fan, I would definitely give them a second try with this recipe.

Here’s a snapshot of my gingerbread couple!

 

Gingerbread Men
Yields: 2 dozen

3 cups All purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking soda
2 teaspoon Ground ginger
2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2/3 cup Dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 Egg
1/2 cup Dark molasses
— Royal Icing —
1 Egg white
1/2 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
Food coloring (optional)

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Put the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer and cream on slow speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat in the egg and molasses, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Turn the mixer back down to slow speed and slowly add the flour mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time, stopping often to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with rubber spatula. Once an even dough has formed, take it out of the mixer, divide into 3, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill overnight in the fridge.
4. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and let soften for about 10 minutes. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with the cookie cutters. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly on the sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. For the royal icing: Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a freestanding electric mixer. Gradually start adding the confectioners’ sugar, mixing well after each addition to ensure all the sugar is incorporated. Whisk until you get stiff peaks. If the icing is too runny, add a little more sugar. Stir in a couple of drops of food coloring, if using, and decorate the cookies.

Kate’s Tips:

After cutting out your first batch, I would recommend re-rolling the dough only two more times.  If you keep working it too much you start to break down the flour and create a cookie that is no longer soft and chewy.  In my oven, cooking for 10 minutes created a perfect cookie.  Watch them carefully because they will start to brown too much if overcooked.  Other than that, this recipe is pretty easy to bring together and you will not be disappointed!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 13, 2010 2:57 pm

    I absolutely love these gingerbread men They are sooo cute. Very nice post.

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