Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gingerbread Men Cookies

Every Christmas Eve Aunt Jilly brings 2 cookies to the party to frost with the niece's and nephews.  I bring cut out sugar cookies, and gingerbread men cookies.  Then I bring all different types of frosting, in all different colors, and an array of sprinkles.  We have so much fun decorating the cookies for Santa, and then leaving them out with a glass of milk for him to eat when he comes.  It's so fun to see each of the children big and small get into their decorating, and be so proud of what they have done.

My cut out sugar cookie recipe is one of my most popular recipes and you can find it on the side of the blog, but this is the gingerbread men recipe that I use, so you'll have that too in case your family wants to start this tradition if your home.  Happy Holidays!!
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
¾ cup molasses
2 tablespoons milk

In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1½ minutes. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, gradually add molasses and milk; mix until dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll ¼-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into gingerbread people or round cookies, transferring shapes to parchment-line cookie sheets, spacing them ¾-inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough until cookie sheets are full. Bake cookies until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes, rotating cookie sheet from front to back halfway through baking time. Do not overbake. Cook cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then remove with wide spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.

Repeat until all dough is gone.

Once cookies are cool, decorate with royal icing, if desired. or as I do it, just put icing into tip squeeze containers and decorate.  Enjoy!

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