I bought the most adorable gingerbread men cookie cutters last Christmas and have been looking forward to baking with them ever since. I’ve also been wanting to try my hand at royal icing for quite a while now, so what better time to give them both a try?
I used a recipe for a soft gingerbread cookie, which tastes good, but didn’t do the cookie cutters justice. Because the cookie was so soft, the edges weren’t as defined as I was hoping they’d be. That would have been no problem for another cookie cutter, but these cookies are supposed to look like they’ve had a bite taken out of them, so you should be able to see teeth marks, but you don’t. You definitely get the idea though. Would you believe Jim thought I made a normal batch of gingerbread men and then decapitated or amputated them all?? Weirdo.
These cookies were great for my introduction to royal icing. I was happily surprised at how nicely the icing mixed up and how easy it was to work with. Cookies decorated with royal icing always look so perfect that I just imagined that it must be stressful and difficult. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I need more practice (and patience), but I’m looking forward to trying it again.
Recipe: Soft Gingerbread Cookies
(adapted from Average Betty)
1 c. unsalted butter
1/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1/4 c. molasses
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Add egg and molasses. Mix well, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour and mix on low until thoroughly combined. Dough will be rather sticky. Spoon dough into a covered container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously flour work surface and rolling pin. Divide dough in half, roll, and cut with cookie cutters. Place cut-outs on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies.
Recipe: Royal Icing
4 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. meringue powder
5 Tbsp. water
(If you want some good tips and techniques, visit Annie’s Eats for a tutorial. That’s also where I found this recipe.)
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