Can we pretend that it isn’t a full three weeks past Christmas?
And that it isn’t completely unacceptable to be posting about gingerbread men right now?
Let’s pretend, because making these cookies was one of my favorite afternoons from before I left the states, and they are too cute and delicious not to share.
There are some friends that you don’t see for the longest time, but when you finally do, it’s as if no time has passed and not a single thing has changed at all. I made these cookies with a friend like that.
When I get slightly homesick here across the Atlantic, it’s memories like these that I think about.
Plus, I had never tried royal icing before this day. So even if you can stand to hold off on these soft, spicy cookies until next Christmas (you’re making a big mistake…), royal icing is year-round! This royal icing dried sweet and shiny, and it was perfect for giving our little cookies some character and sass. I can’t look at these without smiling 🙂
Gingerbread Men Cookies
From Brown Eyed Baker
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
¾ cup molasses
2 tablespoons milk
1. In the bowl of a mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1½ minutes. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, gradually add molasses and milk; mix until dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
2. Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
4. Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into gingerbread people or round cookies, transferring shapes to parchment-line cookie sheets with a wide metal spatula, spacing them ¾-inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough until cookie sheets are full. Bake cookies until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes, rotating cookie sheet from front to back halfway through baking time. Do not overbake. Cook cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then remove with wide metal spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.
5. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, cutting and baking in steps 2 and 4. Repeat with remaining dough until all dough is used.
6. Once cookies are cool, decorate with royal icing, if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
from All Recipes
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, beaten
- Whip egg white until soft peaks form
- In a bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar.
- Add 1/4 cup of sugar at a time