Foodie

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gingerbread Bear






This is the time of the year for bonding and how wonderful it was, 3 generations in the warm kitchen, on a snow day, making and decorating gingerbread bear.


Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
Optional raisins, chocolate chips, candy pieces, frosting
Royal Icing
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

Method

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.)
Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.
Heat oven to 350°.
Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes.

Transfer to ungreased baking sheets.
Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Decorate as desired.

Makes 16 5-inch long cookies.

Royal Icing

The traditional way to make Royal Icing is to beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
With modern concerns about salmonella from raw eggs, you can either use powdered egg whites or heat the egg whites first to kill any bacteria.
With the heating method, mix the egg white and lemon juice with a third of the sugar, heat in a microwave until the mixture's temperature is 160°F. Then remove from microwave, and beat in the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
Using the powdered egg whites method, combine 1 Tbsp egg white powder with 2 Tbsp water. Proceed as you would otherwise.

If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes. (Or use a plastic sandwich bag, with the tip of one corner of the bag cut off.)
Keep the icing covered while you work with it or it will dry out.



Serves

4 comments:

Lily Anette said...

I love the Panda!

lilyng said...

lily anette

the panda was made with the last piece of dough which was so irregular, so after baking it, it went fat. Alexander is into Kongfu Panda, and so this piece was so appropriate for it

Anonymous said...

Lily,

When I make gingerbread cookies I always add some coco powder to it from a recipe years ago. It seem to better the taste of it. Try many recipes and some taste too ginger in it or too much clove which very strong for some people.

Linda

GoodyFood said...

So adorable! Good job. Merry christmas n a blessed new year. Lily.

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