Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sure, gingerbread is often reserved for Christmas cookies, but I don't see why. It's still cold enough in early spring to enjoy the warm sensation of all that ginger, so why not make gingerbread bunnies? I also make gingerbread fish and octopi, in the summer.
The cookie recipe is from the Cook's Illustrated baking book. The icing is so basic I have no idea where I got the recipe, it's just confectioners' sugar and milk. Wilton has a really nice pre-made cookie icing in a bottle with a tip that lets you ice your cookies without much mess, if you don't want to go to the trouble of making icing.
Iced Gingerbread Cookies
makes about 30 cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground dried ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
3/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp milk
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and salt. Toss the butter pieces on top and mix in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the molasses and milk and continue mixing until the dough forms.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4" thick. Lay both rolled-out dough pieces on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm, about 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350º and adjust the racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
Remove one sheet of dough from the freezer and cut into shapes, transferring them carefully to about an inch apart on the cookie sheet with a spatula. Bake 8 to 11 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through. Let cool completely before icing.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
Whisk or sift the sugar to remove any lumps. Whisk in the milk and add food coloring as desired.
Use an icing bag to decorate cookies. You can add a few drops of lemon or orange juice to the mix for a slightly more interesting flavor.