Hope you all had a great holiday season! Sorry for the recent radio silence! We’ve been snug in The Mouse House, working feverishly on a couple new projects.
(Stay tuned for some exciting news soon!)
I’ve been baking a lot of gingerbread to fuel our endeavors. It’s a house favorite, and the recipe couldn’t be simpler.
(Or cuter, cut into plump little fox shapes. I got my cookie cutter at Target before Christmas, but you can also find them online here.)
This recipe makes wonderful, thick traditional gingerbread with just the right amount of spice.
The short version of the recipe goes like this
Combine the wet ingredients. Add in the dry ingredients. Mix it all together into a soft, thick dough. Let it rest for a bit to mellow.
Roll it out, cut your cookies, and bake for just under 10 minutes.
Ice them if you like, I’ve included a really simple recipe below. Inhale as soon as they’re cool enough to touch.
New baker? No problem.
If you’re new to baking cookies, I’ve included step-by-step photos below to help guide you along.
Alrighty, to the ovens!
Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies
6 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfered molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Simple Vanilla Cookie Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make the cookie dough
Put the brown sugar, butter, and egg in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl, if mixing by hand).
Beat until uniform and fluffy.
Beat in the molasses and vanilla extract.
If you like, whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl until uniform. This is the Official Baking Way to deal with dry ingredients, to avoid clumps of any one dry ingredient. I’ll admit that I rarely do this—and seldom have a problem. Up to you.
Add all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves). Mix until well combined and uniform.
Your final dough should be thick, soft, and moist (but not sticky).
Gather the dough up and pat into a flat round. Wrap in parchment paper and stick it in the fridge to mellow out for at least 4 hours.
Cut and bake the cookies
When you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Cut out your cookies and space them out on your lined baking sheets.
I cut out foxes and tiny dog bones this time, but use any shape you like. (A drinking glass makes a fine round cookie cutter in a pinch.)
Bake the cookies
Pop the pans into your preheated, 375-degree F oven. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until puffed up, opaque, and lightly browned on the bottom. Everyone’s oven is a little different, just keep an eye on them as they bake.
When they’re done, pull the pans out of the oven. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer them off to a wire rack to finish cooling.
If you don’t let them rest for a few minutes on the pan when they come out of the oven, I find that they tend to break when you try to scoot them off. I wait, so I wind up with fewer (delicious) casualties:
Ball up the dough scraps, roll them out again, and cut more cookies. Repeat with the rest of the dough until you’ve used it all up.
Make the icing
If you want to ice your cookies, this is a really simple way to do it. This vanilla-scented icing dries to a semi-opaque white, depending on how many layers you apply to each cookie.
Put 2 cups of powdered sugar in a bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Whisk with a fork to start to combine.
Slowly whisk in cold water until all the sugar has melted. I didn’t specify how much water so that you can make your icing as thick (less water) or as thin (more water) as you like.
Ice the cookies
When the cookies are cool, ice away! To minimize mess, I layer some paper towels under the baking rack, and ice them right there.
Just brush the icing over each cookie relatively evenly. Once one coat sets, you can do another for a thicker coat.