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Gingerbread Recipes

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gingerbread winking boy.gif (6603 bytes) 

Gingerbread
Ingredients:

1 cup butter, margarine or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
5 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup water

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl beat butter until softened.  Add sugar and beat until fluffy - at least three minutes.  Add molasses and beat well.  Combine dry ingredients and add to the batter a little at a time, mixing in each addition.  You will have to use your hands to work in the last additions.

Divide dough into thirds and shape into balls.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours, preferably overnight.

Roll out one ball to approximately 3/16 inch thick on a piece of aluminum foil.   Dough must be sufficiently chilled before rolling to prevent stickiness.   Lightly flour the foil, your hands, and the rolling pin, before rolling to prevent pulling.  Or roll between a sheet of foil on the bottom and a sheet of wax paper on top.

Position the pattern templates on top of the dough at least 1 inch apart to allow for a little spreading of dough during baking.  Carefully cut out the pieces, using a pastry wheel or paring knife, and gingerly lift the scraps away from the cutout shapes, and return them to the refrigerator.  If your house calls for texturized wood grain, panels, brick, etc., score these effects into the gingerbread before baking.

Carefully slide the foil (with the cutouts on it) onto a cookie sheet.   Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes.  Bake until just firm, never browned.   Once all of the dough as been used, form the scraps into another ball and roll out again.  Avoid rolling the dough out more than twice if you plan to eat your gingerbread as it makes the dough tough.

When all pieces have finished baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheets.  As soon as the pieces come out of the oven, check the edges and, if necessary, trim with a sharp knife so that the pieces will fit together.  Lay the paper template over each piece to be sure the sides are square with those of the template.   The dough will have spread somewhat, but the basic shape should be the same.   The dough hardens as it cools, making it more difficult to trim later.

Allow the gingerbread plenty of time to cool on racks before you begin construction.  If you can't start right away, slide the fully cooled pieces onto foil-covered cardboard or back onto the cookie sheets, wrap with foil or plastic wrap, and store flat.  Gingerbread will stay reasonably fresh for several days.

Gingerbread Log Recipe

This sugary, snow-covered log cabin is easily assembled from gingerbread "logs" cut out with homemade cardboard patterns; you’ll also need a 12-inch square of stiff cardboard for a "foundation". Complete the edible winter wonderland with decorative details cut from leftover dough. Or use your favorite holiday decorations – tiny Christmas trees, figurines, toy reindeer, and the like.

Ingredients:

¾ cup solid vegetable shortening

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup molasses

2 tablespoons water

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon EACH salt, baking soda and ground ginger

¼ teaspoon EACH ground nutmeg and all spice

Icing Recipe follows

About 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat shortening and granulated sugar until creamy; beat in molasses and water. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; gradually add to shortening mixture, blending thoroughly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours).

Meanwhile, prepare foundation for cabin by covering a 12-inch square of stiff cardboard with foil. Also prepare patterns for cutting logs: cut lightweight cardboard into a 4 by 6-inch rectangle (for the roof); ½-inch-wide strips that are 2, 3-1/2 and 6 inches long (for logs); and a ½-inch square (for spacers).

With a floured rolling pin, roll out a third of the dough on a floured board to a thickness of 1/8 inch (keep remaining dough refrigerated). Make 2 roof sections by cutting around roof pattern with a sharp knife; transfer carefully to a lightly greased baking sheet.

Roll out scraps and all remaining dough to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Then cut out eight 2-inch-long longs, two 3-1/2-inch-long logs, seventeen 6-inch-long logs, and 30 spacers (1/2-inch squares). Transfer cookies to lightly greased baking sheets (bake separately from roof sections), arranging about 1 inch apart. From remaining dough, cut out trees or other decorative details. Extra spacers can be used for chimney and stepping stones.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until just firm to the touch (cookies will harden as they cool). As soon as roof section is baked, lay pattern on each section and evenly trim one long edge (where the 2 sections will meet). Let cookies cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to racks and let cool completely. If not assembling cabin at once, package airtight; freeze if desired.

Prepare icing. With a pastry brush, paint foil-covered foundation with icing, then sift some of the powdered sugar over icing to cover lightly. Assembly cabin, following steps 1 through 4 above and using icing as glue wherever logs join. Decorate as desired with extra shapes.

In most dry climates, cabin will keep for about 1 week. In humid areas, cookies may absorb moisture and start to sag, so plan to keep cabin for only 2 or 3 days before eating.

ICING

In a bowl, beat together
2 cups powdered sugar and ¼ cup water until smooth

 

Compliments of Sunset Magazine
http://www.sunsetmagazine.com/

 

Cookies Step-by-Step Techniques
(fabulous book that teaches how to make all kinds of cookies)

 

 



 

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