Next up in the 2,000 cookie marathon are gingerbread cookies. If snickerdoodles say Christmas, gingerbread men scream it(and probably in tiny high pitched voices). I always make gingerbread people because they’re adorable and traditional. But you can cut them into any shape you want. Same for the decorations. I chose quick and simple this year(I am aiming to make 2,000 cookies. Simplicity wins), but in this past, I’ve covered them in icing, drawn cute outfits on them, glued candy to them… I made little Adam and Eves for my husband to find coming home late from work. I probably won’t leave those out for Santa, though.
- 3 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 stick(8 tbl.) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup light molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 pound confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbl. dried egg white powder
- 6 tbl. water
Take out butter, egg and shortening and let come to room temperature. Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt in to a medium bowl. Set aside. Combine butter and shortening in a standing mixer, then add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and the egg. Turn mixer to low, then add flour mixture slowly, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until thoroughly combined. Divide dough in half, make 2 disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours(dough will keep overnight and the next day if you want to make it in advance).
When ready to bake the cookies, put your oven racks in the top and bottom 1/3rd positions in your oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Take dough out the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, until you can bend it without cracking. Roll out dough on well floured surface with floured rolling pin, 1/4″ thick for crispy cookies., and to 1/2″ thick for softer cookies. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place cutouts 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 2 sheets at a time, one on each shelf, switching halfway through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven when edges start to turn brown. Cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack 5 minutes, then move cookies off sheet onto rack to cool the rest of the way.
To make the icing, combine all ingredients in an electric mixer on low for 1 minute, then turn speed to high for 3-5 minutes, until frosting is thick and stiff. Use a pastry bag with a small tip to pipe decorative trim on your cookies.
152 cookies made, 1,725 to go.