Friday, December 17, 2010

Classic Gingerbread [People] and Other Various Shapes

   This is going to be the last Christmas cookie post for the season.  Aw, sad, I know.  No, it's not sad really.  Six different recipes seems sufficient.  Although, I do intend to bake more today in between my staring in the mirror times because I have amazing new hair thanks to the infinitely talented Rachel Temple!!

   Gingerbread.  I don't know how you feel about it, but I love it!  I love all variations of gingerbread:  ginger crinkles, ginger snaps, crispy, soft, super spicy, or very mild.  Also, I am freak for gingerbread men and gingerbread houses!  My husband better watch out because our house could very well turn into the wicked witch's house from Hansel and Gretel (minus the trying to eat small, wayward children part.)  This recipe is great because the dough is easy to work with and they are moist and soft with just the right amount of chewiness thanks to the buttermilk.

Buttermilk Gingerbread Cookies
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C molasses
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger (trust me here, it is so good!)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 allspice
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C buttermilk

   Cream butter and sugar.  Mix in molasses and egg.  Add spices and salt.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add flour and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture.  (Addition pattern:  flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.)  Fully incorporate ingredients after each addition.
   Cover and chill for at least 1 1/2 hours.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  (it is easiest to work with 1/3 of the dough at a time.)  Cut out desired shapes with roughly 4 inch sized cookie cutters.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
   Bake at 375 deg F for 10-12 minutes.  Cool.  Decorate (with whatever you like!)
I got a little carried away with my gingerbread fashion.

*I used a basic royal icing to decorate my cookies.  It ended up a runny mess because I don't have powdered food coloring, but that's ok.  I'm kind of happy that my cookies look like a 6 year old decorated them.

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