Joy to the Gingerbread Man

DSCN8389_2For those of you who have been following since the very beginning, you may remember me mentioning our Italian American origins. Up until now we’ve been focusing on rather Italian-ized dishes. But now that Christmas is finally here (and American Christmas is a lot more fun and colorful than Italian Christmas), we’re finally bringing out some of the cool stuff! So with Bill Crosby’s “White Christmas” blasting throughout the house, we decided it was the perfect day to make Gingerbread cookies!  Take out your rolling pins, your cookie cutters, and most importantly your hot chocolate…and lets get baking!!!

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 dozen)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
160g butter (room temperature)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup molasses (syrup)
1 large egg

METHOD
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices) and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment/K beater, cream together butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Mix in the molasses, followed by the egg, and mix on slow speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a third at a time, and mix until incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about half a centimeter thickness. Use your favourite cookie cutters to cut out the cookies, and place them on parchment paper lined baking trays. Set them about 1 centimeter apart as they tend to rise slightly in the oven. Chill in the fridge for another 5 minutes (this helps them keep their shape while baking).

Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and cool completely. Use white – or any cool colored – royal icing to decorate them, as little or as much as you like!! Fill up a glass of milk and start chewing…THEY’RE IRRESISTIBLE!

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