In Smart Cookies #007, I mentioned that gingerbread cookies get their flavor from molasses. This recipe yields thick and chewy cookies. For a crisper texture, roll the dough out a bit thinner than directed and allow an extra minute of baking.
The decorative, edible paint is basically egg yolks and food coloring. It is applied to the cookies before baking.
|All purpose flour||3¼ cups|
|Baking soda||1 tsp|
|Unsalted butter, softened||1 cup or 2 sticks|
|Dark or light brown sugar||½ cup|
|Ground ginger||2 tsp|
|Ground cinnamon||1 tsp|
|Freshly grated or ground nutmeg||¼ tsp|
|Ground cloves||¼ tsp|
|Unsulfured molasses||½ cup|
- Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set it aside for later use.
- Cream softened butter using an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar and continue creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add all the spices and combine them well. Next add molasses, then egg. Beat them together well after each addition.
Gradually fold in the flour mixture, one-third at a time. I like to do this step by hand to avoid overwork the dough.
- Shape dough into a large, flat disk. Wrap it carefully in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll out.
- While cookie dough is in the refrigerator, you can prepare the decorative paint. Whisk about 4 egg yolks in a small bowl until loosened and smooth.
- Divide it into as many small bowls as you want colors. Tint each portion to the color of your choice with tiny bits of color at a time. Stir until color is well mixed with the yolk.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to about ¼-inch in thickness. Use your own templates or cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread cookies. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1-inch apart.
HINT: place similar-sized cookies on the same baking sheet.
- Use a soft paintbrush to paint or draw on cookies with the prepared edible paint as desired.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges are dry, firm to touch, and just light golden brown. Carefully transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
This recipe makes about 3 or 4 dozens of 3-inch gingerbread cookies.