Friday, December 18, 2009
Another Christmas cookie for gift giving - gingerbread men. This is Dorie Greenspan's fabulous gingerbread recipe: it's traditional in taste, and the texture of the baked cookie is variable depending on how you like your gingerbread (bake less for a softer, chewier cookie and the suggested time for a firmer cookie).
Spice Roll Out Cookies
Makes 60 small or 20 large cookies
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg, mustard, and cloves into a large bowl. Beat the butter in a second large bowl at medium speed until smooth.
Add brown sugar to butter and beat 1 minute. Add the molasses and beat until fluffy. Add egg and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. At low speed, beat in vanilla. Add the flour spice mixture and beat till just blended.
Form dough into ball and divide in half. Form halves into balls and flatten into disks. Wrap separately in plastic and chill until firm; 4 hours to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Work with just 1 disk at a time, leaving the other chilled, roll out the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to 1/8 inch thickness for small, 2 inch cookies and 1/4 inch thickness for 3 to 4 inch cookies.
Using whatever cookie cutter you prefer, cut out cookies and transfer to parchment lined sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, place in freezer on waxed paper lined sheets for 5 to 10 minutes. Use scraps to re roll and cut more cookies until all scraps are used.
Bake until cookies are firm on top and slightly darking around edges, about 8 minutes for smaller cookies and 12 minutes for larger cookies. Cool completely on rack.
Decorate with royal icing, then sprinkles or other decorations, if desired. Let stand till icing is set.