Keep around the gingerbreads!
Who said gingerbread cookies are just for Christmas?! They are my favorite and I usually only get to enjoy them once or twice in December. So I thought: why not keep them around a little longer and ring in the new year with some snowflake and star-shaped gingerbreads? Every year my mom and I follow Martha Stewart’s recipe for gingerbreads but we cut the baking time in half for chewier cookies. Here’s the recipe!
Martha Stewart Gingerbread Snowflakes
Yields 4 dozen medium gingerbreads
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or mix together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon); mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter (whatever size cookie cutters you have will work – just remember that smaller cookies require less baking time). Re-roll scrap dough for additional cookies. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. (*I undercook mine – only 5-6 minutes – because I like them soft and chewy! If you do too take them out as soon as they cook through and the tops puff up.) Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Put icing in a pastry bag (or a zip-lock bag and cut the tip off) fitted with a small plain round tip. Pipe designs on snowflakes; immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; tap off excess sugar. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.
My Mom’s Decorating Frosting Ingredients
2 lbs of confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 cups of shortening
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Dash of salt
1/4 cup of water
2 teaspoon of vanilla
*Sprinkles and candy to decorate!
Whip all ingredients together with an electric mixer. Fill piping bags with frosting and decorate.
Sources: "MARTHASTEWART.COM." Marthastewart.com. N.p., n.d