This year my cookie of choice is the gingerbread man cut with a vintage cutter given to by my grandmother a few years ago. I haven’t quite given up on my sugar cookie quest, but I need to rethink my approach.
I have actually not been a fan of gingerbread for the majority of my life, with the exception of the houses that I always decorate to my heart’s content. Up until last year I would immediately spit out any gingerbread cookie, but I finally tasted a recipe that I fell in love with.
Now I am sharing it with you and I don’t believe any Christmas will be complete without this recipe from now on.
There are a lot of fun Christmas traditions around the world in this article and it definitely makes me want to include fun new ones next year.
Yields 2 1/2 dozen
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
To make the cookies:
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost or decorate when cool.
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
To make the icing:
In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.