Thursday, December 23, 2010

Taste Buds: Rogue’s Gingerbread Cookies


I come from a baker stock, my mother is a baker, my grandmother is a baker; it just is in our blood. With baking & cooking in general I was a late bloomer. My mother despaired that her only daughter would be nothing more than an “I can boil water” kind of girl. And for a while admittedly that was what I was. Now I had a million excuses, I wasn’t interested as a young girl, I started waitressing as a teen (and look at all that free precooked food I could get there) and then when I moved away for college I continued waitressing to put myself through school, because I was around food all day and because I always ate my meals before or after my shift I never dealt with food at home. It wasn’t until I was 25, when I met my husband that I finally got interested in cooking and baking and only until the beginning of last year did I take learning to cook and bake seriously.

That journey has been a pleasure and most of the recipes that I have tried and some that I have created have come out great, some were only barely edible and then there was the past week... where it turned out terrible. I have never cooked gingerbread, and my grandmother and mother haven’t either so I turned to the internet, learned about gingerbread and started testing and trying various recipes. Oh the failure I encountered. The first recipe had so much ginger and the cookie was gross, the second had very difficult to work with dough bad flour/egg ratio that resulted in sad misshapen gingerbread men, the third tasted like cardboard... ahhhh the agony!!!!! All three batches ended up in the trash. Just so you know I usually make ¼ of a recipe as a taste tester, but still that was a lot of work and resources to waste.

Finally on my fourth attempt I just made it up and it turned out SPLENDIDLY! A cookie that has a nice snap, a good flavour and where the dough is easy to manage to cut into shapes. I now have a gingerbread cookie recipe that I can use for next year’s attempt at real gingerbread houses. For this year I am happy with my new recipe and little gingerbread men!

21 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
5 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 egg
½ cup unsulfured molasses

1. Using an electronic mixer cream the butter. Add in the white and brown sugar slowly mixing completely between each addition; while mixing add eggs and then the molasses.
2. Mix together all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to batter in three batches beating dough until full incorporated between each addition.
3. Divide the dough in four, wrap tightly with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
4. Lay down wax paper cut to fit the inside of your baking pan. Sprinkle paper with sugar, unwrap dough and place on top of sugar, dust top with sugar and roll out using a rolling pin until very thin. When the dough starts getting sticky sprinkle again with sugar. After the dough is rolled out lift the wax paper and put it on a baking sheet. Return to refrigerator for fifteen minutes.
5. Chilled dough is much easier to work with and less sticky. Using cookie cutters or a cut-out cardboard template of your design and a sharp knife cut out your cookies. After working with the dough for a few minutes if it becomes sticky again return to the refrigerator before continuing to work. Once cookies are cut gently tear away the discard dough and place to the side, this leave the cookie cut-outs on the tray.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes until they are slightly browned and not soft. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


paul peggy zeus said...

We did miss out on so much not being in the kitchen together, but we're making up for lost time now at least.

lilmansworld said...

at MOPS this winter, a girl at our table was a chef and she made the BEST gingerbread cookies I've ever tasted. Baking is SO much fun!

Post a Comment