Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gingerbread Snowflakes!

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Hiiii! Ugh, I'm so sorry these have taken me SO long to post. It was one of those things where I knew I needed to update, and I'd think about it, but felt so guilty about being so late that I just pushed it to the back burner, you know? I am the master procrastinator.
These are the last kind of Christmas cookies I made, and I suppose since they're more winter-themed than Christmas-themed, they're not so out-of-place in mid-January! They're spicy gingerbread snowflakes with royal icing and blue sugar, and I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
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Wet Ingredients. I had *almost* enough brown sugar, but not quite, so I had to sub a little bit of white sugar to make up the difference.
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Dry Ingredients.
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The cookie dough.
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Divided the dough into three balls, wrapped each in plastic wrap (am I the only one who is terrible at working plastic wrap??), and stuck ‘em in the fridge.
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Rolling out the dough.
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Cutting out the snowflakes. I’m not a huge fan of this particular cutter, but it’s what I had.
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Laid the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet.
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Fresh from the oven.
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Iced and sugared. There were a lot more cookies than pictured here, I think this recipe made about 60 cookies. As you can see, I tried to make a few of them unique, but decided to just stick with the one design.
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Spicy Gingerbread Cookies (from Smitten Kitchen)
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 1/2 pound) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
To decorate:
Royal icing (Martha’s recipe)
Various fine sanding sugars and sugar decorations
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined. Divide dough into thirds and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about one hour or up to two days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes of your choice, such as snowflakes* or gingerbread men. Spread two inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until the cookies firm up again, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
When cool, you can decorate the cookies with icing and sprinkles. When you pipe designs, sprinkle the icing with sanding sugar and let it sit for five minutes before tapping off the excess sugar. Then let the icing set completely at room temperature, which will take an hour or so, depending on how thick it is.
Store cookies between layers of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container for up to a week.

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