I’m right in the thick of it! The Holidays, of course.
Time seems to fly more quickly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. With four kids coming and going, I am constantly grocery shopping, cooking, baking and doing laundry.
Since I’m sure you don’t want to see pics of laundry (Hubby’s nicknamed me the “Laundry Wench”) or my Dining-Room/Dorm-Room-Depot, I’ll be posting recipes. I’m raising my virtual glass of sherry (Julia Child-style) in a toast to being the Kitchen Queen, Domestic Goddess, or whatever euphemism you can think of for someone who dons an apron for hours and falls asleep with her head on the kitchen table.
Just because I don’t have time to write doesn’t mean the words stop forming in my head. I “write” while I drive, sleep, run, cook and bake. Gingerbread men and women bring out a desire to create dialogue!
Hence, they are…
CHARACTER DRIVEN COOKIES! (clever, don’t you think?)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
To decorate the cookies, use your imagination. We used Royal Icing (recipe below), Mini M&M’s, Cinnamon Imperials, Sparkling Sugar and French Dragées. We used toothpicks and paintbrushes as decorating tools.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed.
3. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue mixing until well blended.
4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
5. Divide dough in two, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator for a couple of hours.* Let dough come to room temperature before rolling cookies.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
7. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Thicker cookies = softer cookies; thinner cookies = crispier cookies.
8. Cut out cookies with desired cookie cutters. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes.
9. Once baked, allow cookies to cool before decorating.
Yield: 24 five inch tall cookies.
*Dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for later use.
additional flour to your cookies.
3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 Tablespoons meringue powder (also know as dried egg whites)
6 Tablespoons warm water
Beat 4 to 5 minutes by hand. Stir in optional flavors and desired tints. Royal icing is white, so if you stir in vanilla flavoring, it will turn the icing yellowish. If icing gets too thick, add tiny bits of warm water until you get the consistency you want.
Yield: About 3 cups icing.
Happy baking, hon!