Ginny was on a pretend cooking show this past weekend. The contestants were her, Kitty and our friend, Jackie. I was the guy in the audience making “ooh” and “ahh” comments. I did not imagine making gingerbread cookies would be so involved. We did, however, get to take full advantage of our new kitchen. Ginny slung flour out across the counter as I set up my new lighting instrument and snapped some shots. The most beautiful part of the process was kneading and rolling out the dough.
As I watched them cut the cookies out and put the icing on with the piping bag, I realized that I would never achieve this level of detail with cookies. My destiny is to eat them.
They came out crispy and delicious! It is important not to overcook them and use the right amount of spices. Ginny remarked that they could have used more ginger and cardamom, but I thought they were perfect. I call the one in the middle with green dotted eyes The Drunken Snowman. After Christmas, she hid them in a cabinet so we would not eat them all at once. This only works if I don’t know where they are.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp. ginger powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl until thoroughly incorporated.
- In a separate, larger bowl, beat butter, cream, brown sugar, and egg on medium until well blended. Blend in molasses and vanilla.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients until everything is well incorporated. Divide dough in two halves, wrap in saran wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight.) Bring back up to room temperature before rolling out.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
- Flour your work surface liberally and place first half of dough on it to roll out. Also, flour the top of the dough, the rolling pin, and your hands because the dough can be kind of sticky. Flip the dough between rolls to ensure that it isn’t sticking to surfaces. If it is, add more flour. Roll dough out to about a 1/4 of an inch.
- Cut cookie dough with your favorite cookie cutter shapes and place about an inch apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for between 8 and 10 minutes depending on desired softness. Cool cookies on wire cookie cooling rack.
- Decorate with royal icing or with whatever else strikes your fancy!