Friday, December 10, 2010

Gingerbread Men Cookies

It's winter time which means I have to make those aromatic, warm desserts that I only make once a year. I look forward to this season to take advantage of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, pumpkin, eggnog, pears, and of course hot chocolate.

Biting into these gingerbread cookies wouldn't be the same if you didn't use a gingerbread man cookie cutter and you have to pipe at least one with a smile and buttons.

I have tried this recipe and its very good as well. I love the balance of spices. The following recipe is courtesy of Gourmet Magazine and is just a bit easier to roll out and tastes great too. I make just a simple powdered sugar icing with milk and vanilla extract just to avoid using egg whites whenever possible.

Gingerbread Men

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground cloves
½ teaspoons salt
Sugar Icing

2 egg whites
2 teaspoons water
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg, molasses, and vinegar.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add slowly to creamed mixture.
Divide the dough into fourths, dust with flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours.
Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick and cut with cookie cutters.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or until no imprint remains when touched. Cool, then frost.

Icing: beat egg whites with water, cream of tartar and salt until frothy. Add the sugar slowly and then beat until it holds stiff peaks. Add food coloring if desired.

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