It’s almost Valentine’s folks – time to break out the sappy cards, red roses, and mind-numbing amounts of chocolate. Why not add some cookies to the mix this year? This “beary” good gingerbread recipe turned out much better than I anticipated!
The Recipe: (Yield depends on size of cookie cutter)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup milk (I added it, totally optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla (cause what’s a cookie without vanilla?!?)
White icing (recipe follows)
Prepared red icing/gel
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix 4 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger together in a bowl.
3. Place shortening and brown sugar in the bowl of your mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Add in molasses and beat until blended (Pro-move: spray measuring spoon with cooking spray or wipe with oil to help the molasses slide out easily).
4. Beat in eggs at medium-low speed until incorporated.
5. Add half the flour mixture and mix at low speed (unless you want to look like you’ve been playing in the snow…or worse…) until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix again. At this point, I found my dough was entirely too crumbly, so I added about 1/4 cup milk – you do what you suits you though.
6. Using some of the remaining flour, sprinkle your clean work surface. Place dough on surface and shape dough into a half circle, flour the top. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until about 1/4″ thick.
7. Line the cooking sheet with wax paper or a silpat. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter (I used hearts, it is Valentine’s of course) and place them on the cookie sheet. Shape and roll out remaining dough and repeat.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 11-15 minutes. Remove when edges are slightly browned (oven mitts people!). Let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
9. Decorate, Decorate, Decorate! If you’re like me and have a toddler, time to put the little stinker to work 🙂
White Icing (basic Royal icing recipe):
1 egg (white only)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla (my addition, but made the flavor much better)
1. Separate the white from the yolk, discard the yolk (or use in another recipe).
2. Using a mixer, beat egg white until white and frothy. Beat in sugar a little at a time. Icing will get thicker right away, but will appear smooth.
3. Add the lemon juice (TIL that the lemon juice is what helps the icing to harden on the cookie!) and beat again for about 4 minutes. Cover the bowl with a wet kitchen towel or paper towel so the icing doesn’t dry out.
Enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂