Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies with Icing

We all have things in times of crisis we turn to for relief, for me, it's always either cookies or running, which, seems a bit paradoxical. But, hey, it's the truth.

Today was a day in particular that was crying for one of these two. A long-anticipated December snowfall gently swept its way over our suburb and was a most welcome sight from my window panes. And seeing that it's halfway through the month (nearly) and I've made no cut out cookies yet seemed alarming and panicking. Anyway, not that you need to know the preface as to why I impulsively made cookies- sometimes a girl just has to bake. And today it had to be without real reason.

This recipe you can find in the December issue of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart- that cute little pocket-size monthly magazine chock full of recipes galore. They are so easy to make it's almost embarrassing how effortless it was (oh, I meant before the frosting scene!) and honestly, if you just make the dough and never get around to baking them off, you'll be quite happy picking at what you have. Soft, incredibly tasty, incredibly-Christmasy-tasting dough. I'm quite content that I saved the second half of the dough for later- and I am equally convinced it will never make it to oven-ville.

My 3 year old helped me frost them tonight. Can you tell? We had fun. He is just as enthusiastic about sweet things, especially frosting, as I am and it makes my motherly blood boil with pride.

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies with Icing

{Everyday Food, December 2011}

3 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP ground ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp salt

¾ cup dark brown sugar (yes, dark brown)

½ cup butter, 1 stick, unsalted butter, room temp

1 large egg

2/3 cup unsulfured molasses

6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

½ tsp egg whites

¾ tsp cream of tarter

Desired food coloring

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and dark brown sugar on high until well mixed. Add the egg and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture until combined. Form dough into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Roll out 1 disk at a time, and stack dough in between parchment paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate again, until firm, for 30 minutes. Remove and cut into desired shapes. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 7-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

To make icing, use a whisk attachment and beat powdered sugar, egg whites, and cream of tarter on low until opaque- about 3-4 minutes. Add water as needed to make a spreadable but still thick icing. Place icing into various bowls and tint according to desired color. Spoon into frosting bags and decorate your heart out.

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