Gingerbread Girls and Boys Cookies
December 17, 2011
One delicious bite into a chewy spiced gingerbread girls and boys cookies and you will know the holidays are here. Family traditions and fun all start out with a delicious gingerbread dough mix!
Finally it feels like the holidays with the smell of fragrant gingerbread cookies in the oven. It's snowing outside. The Christmas tree is lit, Bing Crosby is singing White Christmas in the background and a roast is slow cooking in the oven. The perfect day to have a family and friend Gingerbread Girls and Boys Cookie decorating competition.
We made our gingerbread girls and boys cookies dough a couple of days in advance as it needs to be refrigerated for about 3 hours before use so it is easier to work with. You could even do the cut outs and baking on one day and then let your family and friends come over for a holiday cookie decorating party. This has been a family tradition for years.
There will be sprinkles, flour, frosting and those little silver balls everywhere for years to come... LOL!!! However, the fond memories and love will last for generations to come. Santa always stops in for a visit too and all the boys and girls sit on his lap and put in their requests. Hot Cocoa, candy canes, appetizers and Warmed Spiced Apple Cider spiked for the adults is simmering on the stovetop. If the mess from the cookie decorating experience stresses you out, just add more rum to your warmed apple cider.
Who do you think this cookie looks like?
You can make homemade royal icing as described in the recipe instructions or just buy the pre-made frosting tubes in different colors and let the family and friends decorate their little hearts out. We admit it... we are not Martha Stewart and our cookies do not look like they were completed by the culinary queens and kings of confectionary. However, one thing you can be certain is that these gingerbread girls and boys cookies taste fantastic and the kids and adults love every minute of it. In addition, the dads have fun going around augmenting all of the girl gingerbread cookies. LOL
Wishing your family a happy holiday filled with fun traditions from the Healthy World Cuisine Family to yours!
Royal Icing (or can use pre-packaged decorating frosting tubes)
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C)
2Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper. Set aside.
3In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high-speed, beat the butter and vegetable shortening. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. (The dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. We made my dough 4 days in advance as too busy to make them, and I would say it was a little dryer than what I would have wished, so maybe try to make within the 2 days.)
4To roll out the cookies, work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick, if you want a softer cookie than roll it out a little thicker. Using boy and girl cookie cutters, cut out the cookie and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Continue on with gently kneading the scraps together and form into another disk and refrigerate for a few minutes before rolling out to make more cookies
5Bake cookies on the middle rack for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks or set on parchment paper to cool completely. Decorate with Royal Icing or prepackaged decorating icing tubes. (The cookies can stored in a sealed Tupperware for about 1 one week at room temperature or placed in the freezer for up to 3 months- however in our house we will be lucky if we can even just save a couple of cookie for Santa)