Monday, December 24, 2007Y

A Ginger Story

ever got freaked out by the process of making gingerbread cookies? well i did.



but i think i was able to 'make a sense out of it' =P


things was really freaky initially. after mixing up the butter and sugar, i thought everything went quite alright. but by the time i added in the molasses and coffee in, man it was definitely one kind of hell.



'hell'


EVERYTHING LOOK SO DISGUSTING! and the smell is definitely not something i enjoy. perhaps its because its my first time making these hence i am not very used to it. the butter and sugar are on their own and the liquid inside this murky mixture is making everything look so buttery yet liquid at the same time! yucks!



but anyway, luckily i hang on to it and continue beating. things begin to make out very soon. so lesson learnt: beat well and be patient.



not long after i've gotten a creamy brown and rich looking batter, i added in the flour. the dough formed not long after and i thought this is definitely not something easy.




so yeap this is the finished dough. i thought it looked pretty alright... shiny surface, no unblended flour balls or whatever... yes? no? but anyway it was sent to the fridge for TWO WHOLE DAYS coz i wanted to be very sure with the dough. i rather keep the dough longer in the fridge than to let it soften like butter during baking.


and soon, i started having fun!








choosing the cutters and stamping on the cut out cookies was definitely the most happiest part of the whole baking process. did this with my nieces and they really had fun cutting and designing their own gingerbread. all went well so is the baking process.





gotta say that my favorite was the snowflake and the pooh gingerbread! we iced the cookies with royal icing and well.. just as i thought its gonna taste yummy, boy i was totally wrong.


....i reduced too much sugar until the molasses overpowered the whole cookie.

...i increased the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg so much that it totally doesnt taste like gingerbread.

... its definitely not yummy. eh...


oh well i didnt take down pics of the done cookies coz was kindda messy that day. nevertheless, i will try out this recipe again but not so soon =)


Recipe from Baking Bites:

Gingerbread Men
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp (freshly) ground nutmeg
pinch ground black pepper (optional)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup coffee or water
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses, water and vanilla, then gradually add in flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide dough into two or three pieces (dough will be quite soft), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.

Preheat oven to 375F.
For softer cookies:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of your choice (2-3? gingerbread men are ideal!) to cut dough. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutter. Cookies should be slightly firm to the touch at the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For crispier cookies:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under 1/8 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of your choice (2-3? gingerbread men are ideal!) to cut dough. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on size of cookie cutter. Cookies should be slightly firm to the touch at the edges and will be lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cool, decorate with lemon icing (recipe below).

Makes about 30-40 gingerbread men, depending on size of cookie cutters used and whether you make them thick or thin.

Lemon Icing
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp tsp lemon juice

In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Substitute milk or cream plus 1 tsp
lemon extract, if no fresh lemon juice is available. Add enough lemon juice to make the
icing thick and pourable, but not runny (start with 1-2 tbsp and add more if necessary. You
can always add a bit of extra sugar to thicken it if you add too much) and stir until very
smooth. Scrape into piping bag with a fine tip or a ziploc bag with a corner cut off and
pipe onto cooled cookies. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes, until firm, before storing
cookies in an airtight container.




Katherine blogged@ 1:30 AM





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