So I know I have been pretty MIA and all, but did you think I would miss out on Treat Tuesday? No way! Crazy to believe this is the fourth Treat Tuesday I’ve posted, which means my blog is just about 5 months old. Time flies.
For this Treat Tuesday I have a holiday special for you: Gingerbread Cookies! Since we’re now in full Christmas spirit time, a gingerbread cookie recipe seemed perfect since these are one of the most the traditional types of cookies for the holiday season. Some people are averse to the ginger and cinnamon flavor, but I love them.
From Christmas lights to hopefully now, I love how cheery everyone is. Right across the street from my apartment is a giant Christmas tree in the front of the little shopping square and an ice skating rink (that is probably playing Christmas music now until January) with snowflake lights adorned on the trees. It’s nearly picture perfect. All it needs is for the weather to actually snow.
Even though I am Jewish, I do have lights decorating my apartment as well as a little fake tree that I have appropriately renamed my “Hanukkah Holiday Shrub.” I have some cute ornaments decorating it, it’s very adorable.
Back to the cookies though. What is a Christmas or holiday season without some form of gingerbread? It feels incomplete to be frank. The rich deep sweet flavor of the molasses really ties all the different festive spices together without being overbearingly sweet. I did adapt and modify this recipe from Genius Kitchen and I loved the way they taste.
Plot twist: when I went to bake these, turned out I didn’t have enough ginger in my spice cabinet to match the recipe. No matter. The ginger flavor was just not as robust in my batch. Still delicious though.
Depending on your cookie preference, you can bake these to be on the softy chewier side or bake them to be a bit crisper. Everyone likes their cookies differently, but just be mindful of baking time since you don’t want burnt cookies.
Also, please excuse my haphazard decorating. I’m not a pro in the decorating field—at least not yet, but what actually happened was that my icing was a bit too runny. Next time I need to use less milk. Even still, I can’t help but fawn over how cute these are and so appropriately festive.
Some little tidbits about baking and decorating:
Wrap the dough well when you’re chilling it and give the dough plenty of time to chill. This will make sure the cookies hold their shape.
Don’t be afraid of using more flour when rolling. The excess flour will bake off and not impact the flavor of the cookies at all.
Invest in a Silpat mat. It will save you tons of money from buying parchment paper and is super easy to clean (NOT in the dishwasher though—sad panda).
For decorating, I invested in little squeeze tubes for Sur La Table, aka heaven on earth. They were maybe $4.00 each and are easy to use for decorating—if only my icing was the right consistency.
On the icing, if your icing is too runny, add a tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar. If your icing is too thick, add a splash of milk. But, be very careful when adjusting the consistency.
You might need to adjust the baking times depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
You can freeze the dough if you would like. Frozen dough will last for three months. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator before preparing to bake.
For new bakers – confectioners’ sugar = powdered sugar
Cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week. Decorated or non-decorated cookies will freeze up to three months.
Makes about two dozen cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ - 3 tablespoons milk or water
Food coloring (optional)
For the cookies
In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl, beat the butter, the brown sugar, and the egg together on medium speed until well combined.
Add in the molasses and the vanilla and mix on low speed.
Gradually add in the dry ingredients until the dough is smooth and comes together.
Divide the dough into two balls and wrap in each in plastic wrap. Once wrapped, using the palm of your hand, gently flatten the ball into a disc shape. Chill the dough for at least three hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare two baking sheets with either Silpat mats or parchment paper.
On a well-floured surface and using a flour coated rolling pin, roll out the dough discs to about ¼ inch thickness. Add more flour if needed to prevent dough sticking. Using your cookie cutter of preference, cut out the cookies and place on prepared baking sheets, 1 ½ inches apart. Re-roll extra dough to cut out more shapes.
Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Shorter time in the oven will yield softer cookies.
Remove baking sheets from the oven and cool them on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring on a wire rack. Cool the cookies completely before decorating.
For the icing
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, the sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the milk or water. Mix together until a ribbon drawn from the icing holds for a few seconds and then melts back into the icing. Adjust the consistency of the icing if needed.
Add in the food coloring if using. If you are using different colored icings, create two batches.
Line an empty surface with paper towels (this might make a mess).
Pour the icing into a squeeze bottle or piping bag to decorate. Gently squeeze out the icing onto the cookies. First create a border for the icing and then fill the border as needed.
While the icing is still wet, sprinkle the sprinkles onto the cookies.
Allow the cookies to dry for at least 24 hours before storing.