Blogmas Day 9: Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
While reading, listen to There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays by Perry Como.
Baking with my mom always gets me in the Christmas spirit.
For as long as I can remember, my Mom comes alive when she bakes. Not only does she love it, but she is REALLY good at it. Like, really good. Borderline magician, can't-believe-it good. So whenever I have the opportunity to shadow her in the kitchen, I know that I will learn a lot. If I had to choose, I would say that cooking is more my forte. There, I can add a little handful of this, and a sprig of that, not too worried about measurements or perfection. Baking, however, is a science. Not one I always excel at, but as I said, I have an excellent teacher.
There's something particularly exciting about Christmas baking. Family recipes lie, flour-dusted on the countertops, Christmas movies play in the background, and the anticipation of the first bite of a fresh cookie, occupies the brain. This week, I worked ahead so that I could spend a rainy afternoon doing some Christmas baking with my Mom. We decided to take on a new recipe for me: Gingerbread Cookies! I love ginger - almost anything and everything with ginger in it, I'm in. So I was especially excited to dive into this classic recipe.
I hope that in the midst of the hurry and hustle of the season, you find some time to get with people you love, to do what you love. There, memories are made and relationships are forged. That kind of stuff is the real magic.
Traditional Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cooking Time: 18 minutes
Yields: 24 servings
Ingredients For Cookies:
6 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cups Margarine Or Softened Butter
1-1/2 cup Firmly Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Molasses
2 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Maple Extract
Ingredients for Icing:
2 pounds Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1/3 cup Whole Milk, Plus More If Needed For Thinning
2 whole Large Egg Whites
Miscellaneous Candies and Sprinkles
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat the margarine (or butter) and brown sugar until fluffy. Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure it's evenly combined. Add the eggs and maple extract and mix. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each addition.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or more if you have time!
When you're ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 F. When the dough is soft enough to roll but still firm, divide it in half and roll out each half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (dividing it in half just makes it more manageable.) Cut out shapes of your choosing and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of cutters used, until the cookies are baked through but still soft. Remove with a spatula and allow to cool completely.
To make the royal icing, beat the powdered sugar, milk, and egg whites until thick but still able to be piped. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a fine tip (or a squirt bottle.)
Recipe inspiration from The Pioneer Woman with some tweaks of our own.