Thursday, December 13, 2012

Classic Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

gingerbread 
peppermints and candy canes for my Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
gingerbread 
chocolate covered gingerbread "pancakes" with royal icing butter from my Lumberjack Christmas Party
gingerbread 
non-Christmasy, neutral leaves for my Holiday Cocktail Party
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I've been making the same Gingerbread cookies every Christmas for the past 9 years. It's become a staple for me because of the subtly sweet molasses cookies and the crunchy-tart royal icing. It's a match made in the North Pole. Every year for my family's annual Christmas party, I try to switch up the look of the cookies, but they are devoured just the same. Its definitely a tradition I have started for myself, baking these while I listen to Christmas music late at night, and I think it will remain a tradition for years to come.

Classic Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing
(taken directly from Martha Stewart)

6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses

1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks, then decorate with royal icing, if desired.

ROYAL ICING
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 cup water

Beat sugar, meringue powder, and water with a mixer on low speed until fluffy but dense, 7 to 8 minutes. 
*royal icing dries fast, so clean bowl asap*
gingerbread gingerbread gingerbread
Christmas trees for my Black Forest Christmas Party

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