Gingerbread cookies, or gingerbread people, are as much a part of the holiday season as gingerbread houses, fruitcake and sugar plums.
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Gingerbread cookies are as much fun to make as they are to eat. All you really need in order to make a perfect gingerbread person is a rolling pin and a person shaped cookie cutter.
Ginger shows up in many different pastries including ginger snaps, gingerbread (a spicy cake), gingerbread houses, and gingerbread cookies. Gingerbread cookies can be shaped into whatever form that suits the occasion. Once the gingerbread dough is rolled out any cookie cutter that you like can be used but the traditional shape is the classic gingerbread man.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 egg
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
- Using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugars together.
- This means that you beat the sugar and butter together on a medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add the molasses and egg.
- Beat until everything is well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar and beat until just combined.
- Add the yogurt and vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto a board and shape into a ball.
- Let the dough rest in your refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick.
- Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Let cool before decorating.
A piping bag filled with melted chocolate or royal icing will help you decorate your cookies. The chocolate, either white chocolate or semi-sweet (or any chocolate you happen to like) should be melted using a Bain Marie and spooned into a piping bag or a zip top bag with a very small hole cut into one corner.
Royal icing is a great decorating icing because it is both easy to make and easy to flavor.
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups of confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- Food coloring if desired
- Mix together
Fill a couple of piping bags with the melted chocolate or royal icing. Use the icing to draw faces and outfits on the cookies. Since royal icing is used as glue in bakeries you can use the royal icing to glue small candies onto the cookies for buttons or eyes.