After a week of pawning off last Sunday’s caramels, I was ready for something a little less sweet. The weather is chilling down nicely, so “spiced” everything is sounding good. Gingerbread always reminds me of my grandma Patty’s around Christmastime. Listening to “A Prairie Home Companion” while eating dinner as grandpa’s electric ice cream maker churned the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had (to this day).
This is a “rainy day” kind of cookie. Sure to warm you up when paired with a nice hot cider or coffee. A spiced treat to share.
Recipe 41: Gingerbread Cookies
(Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gingerbread-cookies-101-recipe/index.html)
Total Time: 1 hr (plus 3 hrs of chilling time)
Total Yield: 3-5 dozen depending on how thin you roll them out and how large your cookie cutter is…
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- t tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 large egg
Don’t preheat your oven until 20 minutes before you remove the dough from the fridge (after chilling).
First-off, if you’re like me and only have whole-spices, combine larger amounts of the spices in the same ratios that they have in this recipe and grind them up in a coffee grinder. ((For example, I only had whole allspice and whole cloves. I combined 1 tsp of cloves with 1 tsp of allspice in a coffee grinder, and since those two components originally make up a teaspoon (ground) together, I scooped a teaspoon of the blend out of the grinder and added it to the recipe. ))
Combine the sugar, butter, and shortening in the bowl of a mixer. Whip on high until light and fluffy. Add your spices & salt into this mixture, and then your molasses and the egg. Once combined, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, and be sure to sift it in with a fine-mesh sieve. I sandwiched the baking soda in between quarter cups of flour while adding the first round. You should be working with the paddle attachment at this point as the dough is kind of dry at the end.
Separate it into 2 pieces and flatten into round discs. Wrap in plastic and chill for no less than 3 hrs.
When it’s ready, wipe down your countertop with alcohol and sift a fine layer of flour on top. Take out the first disc of cookie dough and roll it out with a rolling pin. The thinner the cookie, the more crunch, so play around with it. I used a pretty maple cutter for these. They don’t spread out, so you can keep less then a half-inch between cookies. Dust with flour liberally.
I baked on a silpat and didn’t have to grease the pan. If using parchment, add a light later of cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes. It’s hard to see any “bown edges”, so use your nose. When they start smelling good, they’re almost done!
Enjoy with a nice cup of something warm.