Today is the day after the day after Halloween. You want to know how I spent yesterday morning? I finished decorating the gingerbread cookies I baked on Halloween day, of course! It was a fun project, mind you, but decorating them took me a bit longer than expected. I keep forgetting that my physical stamina isn’t what it used to be, so I had to break the cookie making project into two days instead of one. Oh gosh, my knees aren’t what they used to be. Happily, my enthusiasm remains at the age 2 level. Anyways, my kitchen counters are filled with cookies that need to be delt with. I had to let the icing dry overnight so they wouldn’t smoosh together.
The results of my efforts beyond the sink full of messy, not yet washed Halloween frosting containers were a few dozen yumcious soft gingerbread cookies, each coated with a thin layer of decorative royal icing. Boy, do I now have a huge respect for those folks who decorate cookies for a living.
I pulled out my trusty phone camera and took a pic of a selection of my cookies. I think they turned out quite cute. I especially like the bats because their eyes give them a horrified expression as if they realize that their inevitable destiny is to be dunked into a cup of fiercely hot coffee before being chomped into bits by gingerbread loving humans.
I’m sharing the recipe for both the cookie part and the royal icing they are frosted with at the end of this time’s post. This is the best gingerbread cookie recipe I have ever baked up. It produces a soft gingerbread cookie made with real butter and molasses and all those traditional wonderful holiday spices. I’ve never made gingerbread using butter, so this recipe was a revelation for me. The flavor that the butter imparted just enhanced the entire cookie eating experience. This is one of those keeper recipes that belong in the “Holiday Yummies” part of your recipe box.
Naturally, I visited Wikipedia to see what kind of info they gathered related to gingerbread. I wasn’t disappointed. Wikipedia is such a major cool resource. Here is a link to their information on the history of gingerbread. Imagine, the origin of the gingerbread cookies we create in our kitchens today dates back to the year 999. Proof that gingerbread was considered a good thing even back then!
Halloween begins the holidays 2012 season for me. There is Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to, and lots of festive type television programs to watch. This year, my sister and I are planning on getting together to make some creative holiday goodies to foist upon innocent family and friends. We haven’t done anything like this for quite some time. I’ll report back on how our endeavors come out.
My favorite season here in Oregon is fall. I like the cooler weather, the colorful leaves, the crispy air scented with woodsmoke, the rain, and huge fluffy, grey cumulus clouds that hover overhead. I’m thankful every day that I live in such a beautiful place and that my Mr. Dave is on the mend.
OK, enough blogging for now. I still have dishes to wash. Here are the recipes. Be sure to make a double batch of the icing. One batch wasn’t near enough to complete frosting the cookies. Recipes courtesy of Karen’s Cookies……..
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
½ cup molasses
Combine flour, soda, salt and spices. Whisk well to combine. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg and molasses. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides again and then add flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined. Separate dough into halves or thirds, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour, and roll dough to ¼ inch thickness, sprinkling with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, depending on size of cookies