Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 10 of Cookie Countdown: The New and Improved Gingerbread Man

What holiday cookie platter is complete without the husky build and tentative smile of the gingerbread man? Problem is, his traditional taunt of “catch me if you can” is hardly enticing when he usually tastes no better than a piece of spiced cardboard, hardly the Christmas delicacy he was meant to be.

Until now.

This recipe gives the gingerbread man the makeover he has long been awaiting. The combination of cinnamon and ginger is perfectly balanced, the texture is tender and light. Again, I’ve never been a great fan of gingerbread cookies until this recipe came along. They are perfectly delectable without a hint of icing, but if you, like me, enjoying flexing your artistic muscles by decorating cookies, then whip up a batch of royal icing from Tuesday’s recipe and get creating; the sweetness just adds to the experience.

Mai’s Gingerbread Men

4 c. flour

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 c. butter, softened

2 c. dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp. vanilla

2 large eggs

¼ c. buttermilk

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Then add buttermilk. Combine dry ingredients with butter mixture and mix just until combined. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough to about ¼ inch thickness and use 5-inch cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Place on lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges start to darken. Cool. Decorate with royal icing if you wish.

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