Can you believe there's only 10 more days until Christmas? We finally finished all of our shopping, are almost done wrapping, and I'm about halfway through our cards, so I'm feeling pretty good about being able to RELAX and enjoy these last days leading up to Christmas. We've been watching Christmas movies, drinking hot chocolate, and the other day I finally got up the nerve to make some cookies. I've always wanted to try gingerbread cookies, but since I generally do NOT like making cookies (or any other baked good for that matter), I hadn't given it a try yet. But I decided that this was the year and immediately went to the land of the Internets for a recipe. I found one on Food.com that proclaimed itself, "The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies."
Well, alright. Let's do this.
So I invited my nephew over to play with the kids and while they were pretending to be Batman and Iron Man and a (self-proclaimed) Evil Princess (I totally tried to talk her out of it but she insisted on being the bad guy), I mixed up the cookies and got them ready for decorating. Be aware that these do have to sit on the counter for two hours before you can roll them out, so if you're in a hurry, this is not "The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookie" recipe for you. But if you have all day, I would have to agree that they are indeed, "The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies!" Nevermind the fact that I have nothing to compare them with having never made gingerbread cookies before...ahem. But they are pretty great. Here's the recipe:
The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies
recipe from food.com
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), beat butter, brown sugar, and egg until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using) and continue to mix. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until the mixture is blended and smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8. (Dough can also be stored in refrigerator for up to four days.)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place one portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies with desired cutter.Place on baking sheet and bake one sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (shorter for soft cookies, longer for crisp cookies). When cookies are set, let cool on a wire rack. Decorate and enjoy!
Notes: I used gluten-free flour with surprisingly great results, salted butter because that's all I had, and no lemon zest. Instead of dusting my pretty brown cookies with white flour, I lightly sprayed a couple pieces of parchment paper and rolled the cookies out between them. They ended up being a little thicker than 1/4 inch but when baked for 9 minutes, they ended up soft and really good.
The kids LOVED decorating and eating the cookies, and although they're delicious with icing, they're also really good plain with a hot cup of tea. Happy December baking!
Can you tell which one I decorated?! :)