When the weather turns colder and snow starts falling outdoors, I find myself dreaming of the delicious smells of fresh gingerbread baking in the oven. I remember going to church dinners as a child and being fascinated at the intricate gingerbread house centerpieces and their amazing decorations. Slivered almonds for shingles, licorice for columns, red hots for window frames and shaved coconut dyed green for miniature evergreens. So much artistry and painstaking hours go into those creations!
There have been multiple years I tried to create such a masterpiece at home, but the closest I ever came was baking the walls too thick and resorting to a graham cracker house - same concept, and still fun to decorate, but not nearly the level of craftsmanship that I had come to appreciate. Until I come across one of these gingerbread-house-making aficionados who is willing to teach a class on their techniques, I've decided I will have to settle for baking and eating the delicious cookies instead.
Step One: Mix together the ingredients.
Step Two: Divide the dough in half, wrapping each half in plastic wrap and allowing it to sit on the counter for at least two hours. This will give the flavors a chance to meld together. If you were me, this would be an excellent chance to sit down, relax, and enjoy a glass or two of wine.
Step Four: Roll out the dough, and cut out the cookies using your shape of choice. I added a sprinkling of sugar to mine before baking since I didn't want to frost them later. Allow time to cool on a wire rack before devouring.
|Recipe from food.com|
3 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 C brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 C molasses
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
In a large bowl (I used a stand mixer), beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well combined.
Gradually stir in dry ingredients, and blend until smooth.
Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic, letting stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
NOTE: The dough can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Return to room temp before using.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking. Cut out cookies using your cutter of choice, and space cookie cut-outs 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets.
NOTE: I sprinkled the cookies with sugar before baking, if you plan to decorate with frosting, wait until after baking.
Bake for 7-10 minutes, and let cool on baking sheet until firm enough to move to wire rack. Once cool, decorate to your liking.
These cookies turned out soft and chewy and simply delicious, and as a bonus, make your home smell amazing.
What are your favorite holiday cookies?