It's finally December, which means I can start celebrating the Christmas season to my heart's content. I'll be honest, I've been listening to Christmas music since the week before Thanksgiving and baking gingerbread cookies since the day right after, but it definitely seems more appropriate to do these things in December.
I love both of these ginger cookie recipes. Both recipes are great, and although their ingredients are similar, the different proportions of flour to leavening and sugar to butter make them taste completely different. And the smell of these cookies when they're in the oven is magical! I promise your house will literally smell like Christmastime.
Also, these are great recipes to make simultaneously. The ingredient list is practically identical, and the baking temperatures are both at 350 degrees. Both require a quick chill in the fridge, so while one batch of gingersnap dough is chilling in the fridge, you can whip together a batch of gingerbread men dough.
I just finished making these gingersnaps and gingerbread men for this Saturday's Eat My Blog bake sale. For those of you who don't know, Eat My Blog is a charity bake sale put together by Cathy of Gastronomy Blog. All proceeds go to Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. I've been wanting to participate in it ever since she started the event, but this was the first time I've had my own kitchen to do some baking in. My cookies have some pretty humble ingredients compared to some of the exotic and elaborate treats that are going to be for sale, but they're perfect for the holiday season. Make sure you stop by on Saturday, December 4th, at Tender Greens (8759 Santa Monica Blvd) in West Hollywood from 10:00am.m-4:00p.m. for some sweet treats!
Incredibly Crisp Gingersnaps
makes about 50
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
12 tablespoon (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
sugar for finishing
1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
2. In another bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and continue beating until well incorporated.
3. Add half the flour mixture then add in molasses and combine before adding remaining flour mixture. Mix only until just incorporated.
4. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The dough can be made the day before.
5. Using an 1-inch cookie dough scooper, make balls of dough to roll in sugar before placing on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Leave plenty of room between the cookies (3 inches) because they will spread in the oven.
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoons finely ground pepper
3/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
2. In another bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Then add in spices and salt. Combine before adding the egg and molasses. Mix until incorporated.
3. Add flour mixture and mix on low until just incorporated. Divid the dough into two parts. Wrap each individually and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out the gingerbread men and place on a silpat-lined baking sheet.
5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie cutter you're using. A 2-inch tall gingerbread man takes about 8 minutes in the oven.
Royal Icing recipe for decorating:
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4-1/2 cup water
Food coloring gels
Mix together with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Feel free to adjust the consistency with either more powdered sugar or more water. Decorate!