Monday, December 24, 2012

st. nick is coming...(recipe: gingerbread cookies & red velvet cookie link)

St. Nick is coming to town

Spicy, warm & crunchy-Santa will appreciate these idyllic holiday cookies.  When rolling out cookie dough, make sure you roll them 1/4" thick.  This will ensure you that your cookies will hold together nicely.

Gingerbread Cookies
yield:  18 cookies (depending on your cookie cutters)
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
Royal Icing
Sugar Sprinkles, Sanding sugar for decoration
  1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper & salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed until fluffy.  Add egg and molasses to the cream butter/sugar mixture, mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until dough is formed.
  3. Shape dough into a disc and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.  Space 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets, refrigerate for 15 minutes, until firm.  Bake cookies for 12 minutes, until cookies are crisp, but not dark.  Cool on sheets resting on wire racks.
  5. Pipe designs on cookies and sprinkle with sugar immediately.  Let stand for a few minutes before tapping excess sugar off of cookies.  Let icing dry for at least an hour.  Store in an airtight container for 5 days.
***To pipe designs, I use a mini squeeze bottle, available at craft supply stores.  I love squeeze bottle because they are reusable and the tip is fine enough to get by drawing designs.

Royal Icing (Quick & No Raw Eggs)
yield:  1 1/4 cup
1/2 pound confectioners sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
  1. Put sugar, meringue powder & scant 1/4 cup water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low until smooth, about 7 minutes.  If icing is too thick, add water, a teaspoon at a time; if too thin, mix icing a few minutes more and add more sugar if needed.
Link to Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies here.  Doesn't this color just scream Christmas!  So easy to make.  I wanted to use white chocolate chips, but didn't have any, so I followed the recipe exact.  Either way, I think Santa would approve.

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