Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies


In general, I prefer soft cookies over crisp cookies. I love gingerbread cookies (especially along side a mug of hot chocolate) but they are always crunchy. Oh, how I've longed for a soft gingerbread cookie--one that could hold a gingerbread man shape. I've tried my hand at making gingerbread cookies from scratch before and haven't had success. Then I found this recipe and all my gingerbread dreams came true! A soft, delicious gingerbread man cookie!

Recipe slightly adapted from here.

3 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into approximately 12 pieces and slightly softened
3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons milk

Pour flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda into a food processor, and process until the ingredients are combined. Place the butter pieces on top of the flour mixture and process until the mixture is sand-like. With the food processor running, slowly add the molasses and milk. Don't stop the machine until the dough is evenly moist and soft.*

Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it in half. Roll one half between two large pieces of parchment paper (dough will be very sticky) to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the other half. Without removing the parchment paper, stack the dough on a cookie sheet and place in the freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease them with cooking spray. Remove one dough sheet from the freezer and remove the top parchment sheet. Cut dough into gingerbread people (or any other shape you desire; I also made snowflakes) and place them on cookie sheet, spacing them about an inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. If the dough becomes too sticky, place it back in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until the center of the cookies set. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack.

Once the cookies have cooled to room temperature, decorate with royal icing, if desired. Store in an airtight container.

*The next time I make these, I'm not going to go it in the food processor. While it's easy clean up, my food processor barely accommodated all the ingredients. If you don't have a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda with a whisk in a large bowl. Drop in the butter pieces and with an electric mixer, combine the ingredients on medium-low speed until the mixture becomes sand-like. Reduce speed to low and slowly add molasses and milk. Mix until dough is evenly moist and soft. 

 Eric told me that the cookies were really good and to prove it he was going to eat them. I married myself a strange man.



Christmas 2013 Baking List

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