Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread Fun!

Snowy days are perfect days for gingerbread storytelling and gingerbread making!
The house was made from a kit, but the gingerbread men are all homemade!

Ooo...can we eat this yet? Pleeease?

Run, run as fast as you can!
You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

Gingerbread Men
3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

Royal Icing
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.

Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes.

Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Royal Icing
Beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes. (Or use a plastic sandwich bag, with the tip of one corner of the bag cut off.) Keep the icing covered while you work with it or it will dry out.


Unknown said...

So cute! Cloe is just the perfect little girly-girl - I love it. I have never in my life made a gingerbread house. Never. It's tragic. Someday! Have a super day!

Jenn said...

I love the ginger bread houses. I actually got on today thinking I needed to find a gingerbread man recipe, glad you posted this. My mom has a good house recipe if you want to tackle it next year. She has made them every year since I was little.

une autre mère said...

Very cute! Yours turned out a little better than ours... Did you use your own red and green candies? Good idea!