Gingerbread Cookies With Royal Icing
- Ready In:
For the cookies
- 5 cups flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup butter flavor shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark molasses
- 2 large eggs
For the royal icing
- 1 lb confectioners' sugar, sifted (about 4 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup meringue powder
- 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- For the cookies: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cloves and cinnamon until well mixed. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer on low speed, blend the shortening and sugar. Add the molasses and eggs, then gradually stir in the flour mixture until combined. The dough will be sticky. Divide into quarters, shape into flattened disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
- Position an oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
- Lightly dust each disk with flour and place it between sheets of wax paper. Roll it 1/4-inch thick for chewy cookies or 1/8-inch thick for crisp cookies. Lift off and reserve the top layer of wax paper. Dip cookie cutters in flour and cut designs in the dough, leaving excess dough in place. Put wax paper back on top, slide a baking sheet under the lower sheet of wax paper and transfer the dough and baking sheet to the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is firm but not frozen.
- Transfer 1 sheet of dough, with the cold baking sheet still under it, to a work surface. Remove the top sheet of wax paper, lift up the dough and push the cutout cookies from behind to free them. Quickly place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake small cookies for about 6 minutes, medium for 8 and large for 10 to 12, or until edges are light brown (baking time will vary, depending on thickness of dough). Let sit for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. If not iced immediately, they may be stored for 4 weeks in airtight containers at room temperature or wrapped in plastic and frozen.
- For the royal icing: Using a stand mixer on high speed, beat the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder, water and orange extract for about 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Unless using immediately, place plastic wrap directly on the icing. To create different colors, transfer some icing to small bowls and add gel or paste food coloring.
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<p>First about Buster: Buster moved onto whatever comes next on February 26, 2008. He was just shy of five years old. I miss him terribly. <br />He came into our lives when he ran out in front of my car late one night as I was driving home. A just under 4 pound ball of kitten fluff, complete with an ostrich boa tail that stayed straight up as he assessed his new domain. He became a 19 pound longhaired beast who guarded our house (he followed any new guests or servicepeople the entire time they are on the property) & even killed copperheads (among other things with his hunting buddy, Fergus the short-tailed)! Friends never saw his formidible side as he smiled at them & uttered the most incongruent kitten-like mews as he threaded legs! He liked to ride in the car & came to the beach. <br />There are Buster-approved recipes in my offerings - however, HE decided which he wanted to consider - Buster demonstrated he liked pumpkin anything - ALOT -LOL!!! <br /> <br />Copperhead count 2006 - Buster 2 <br /> (10 inchers w/yellow tails) <br /> 2007 - Buster & Roxie 1 <br /> (a 24 incher!) <br />Buster woken from beauty sleep - <br />http://www.recipezaar.com/members/home/62264/DSCN0335.JPG <br />Big whiskers - <br />http://www.recipezaar.com/members/home/62264/DSCN0333.JPG <br /> <br />For those of you who gave kind condolences - thank you so very much. <br />http://www.recipezaar.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=250301 <br /> <br /> <br />I love to cook & incorporate techniques from Southern/Mid Atlantic roots (grits, eastern NC BBQ shoulders, Brunswick stew, steamed crabs & shrimp & shellfish, hushpuppies, cornbread, greens, shad roe, scrapple) with Pacific Rim foods & techniques aquired while living in Pacific Northwest, fish & game recipes learned while living in Rocky Mountain region & foods/techniques learned travelling to the Big Island & up into BC & Alberta & into the Caribbean. The Middle Eastern/African likes I have are remnants of my parents who lived for many years in North Africa & Mediterranean before I was thought of. Makes for wide open cooking! <br /> <br />Since moving back east we try to go annually in the deep winter to Montreal (Old Montreal auberges & La Reine) & Quebec City (Winter Carnival & Chateau Frontenac)- for unctuous foie gras & real cheeses, French & Canadian meals prepared & served exquisitely, fantastic music & wonderful people - with the cold helping burn off some of the calories! <br /> <br />I love putting in our aluminum jonboat & heading across the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to the barrier islands for foraging & exploring! Bodysurfing is a lifelong sport for me - one that a person's body never seems to forget how to do, once the knack is learned (thank goodness!) <br /> <br />I especially miss cool summers & foggy/drizzly days & fall mushroom foraging/anytime of year hot springing in WA, OR, MT, ID, BC & Alberta.</p>