Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

I've always wanted to bake gingerbread cookies but every time I felt like some ginger cookies I came up with one or two ingredients missing so some other cookies ended up in the oven. Well, I received some fresh ground ginger from Turkey a few weeks ago, and it was high time I made gingerbread cookies. But I was so sick and tired of the gingerbread recipes resulting in Christmas themed shapes and colours that I decided to cut the cookies in different shapes. After I'd looked everywhere in the kitchen for cutters in some unusual shapes that I might have bought earlier and put away somewhere around, I realised, to my surprise, that I had only cookie cutters in the shapes of angels, pine trees, shooting stars, snowflakes, stockings, bells, snowmen, candles, candy canes and all the other traditionally shaped cookie cutters. It was some other high time that I broke with the tradition and here is the result. I used a tart shell to cut the dough into sun-shaped cookies. The result was much better than I'd expected. Sprinkling powdered sugar was the last touch to my gingerbread cookies. However, I also remembered to cut out some more using a small tea glass, just in case! The recipe below is  one of Martha Stewart's basics.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Decorating sugar or sprinkles (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients; mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap; pat into an 8-inch square. Wrap well; chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half), place dough on floured parchment or waxed paper; roll out 1/8 inch thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes, and transfer to baking sheets. Decorate with sugar or sprinkles, as desired.
  4. Bake until firm and edges just begin to darken, 10 to 18 minutes, depending on size. Cool completely on baking sheets.

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