Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 8: 12 Days of Cookies Countdown

Too funny! He was one of my favs of the night!
Can ya believe it! There are 8 days left until Christmas!

Did you do all your shopping? I hope so!

There were a few things that happened this week that brightened my day:
  • I got x-mas gifts from my parents
  • I got x-mas gifts from my aunt(s)
  • I mailed off all other x-mas gifts to aunts/friends/parents
  • I mailed off some x-mas cookies to a friend in Iraq
  • I used coupons to save some $$
  • I stayed on top of my "getting things done" in a timely manner
  • I bought a mini x-mas tree to make our apt living more festive
  • I went to the 100 yen rocks!
What a week! It flew by!

Now, onto the meat and potatoes of this blog post, the cookie recipe! I made some Mini Gingerbread Cookies for day 8. About a day before I made these cookies I found some mini holiday themed cookie cutters at the store and snatched them up in hot second! Then I went home and started the search for a good gingerbread recipe. I have made some gingerbread cut out cookies before, but I cannot remember where I found the recipe, so I gave up looking for that particular one, and remembered that I just received the latest Food Network magazine. And, lo and behold, there is a gingerbread gal on the front cover with the recipe on the back! Woah!

So, thats the one I used.

~Perfect Gingerbread~
(Recipe from Food Network Magazine)
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
6 tbps. butter
1 tbsp. shortening
2/3 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. molasses
1 egg

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a bowl. Set aside. In small bowl, melt together the butter and shortening. Pour into a lg. mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, and molasses and beat until combined. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture in two additions, combining well after each addition. Divid the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. 
On a powdered sugar* surface, roll out each piece of dough to 1/4 in. thick, dusting with more powdered sugar. Cut the dough into desired shapes. Arrange the shapes 1 in. apart on parchment lined baking sheets, and chill for 15 min.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once preheated, remove cookies from the refrigerator and bake for 10-12 min. or until the cookies are slightly golden around the edges. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Decorate with Royal Icing.

*Note: I got a tip from my college roommate, who said that their mom used powdered sugar to roll out sugar cookies. Ever since then I have used powdered sugar to dust before rolling. Its wonderful. More sugar can't hurt right?

~Gingerbread Icing~
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp. milk

Place the butter in a lg. mixing bowl, and with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides. Add the milk and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.** This should take 3 to 4 min. Add a little more milk if the mixture is too dry or stiff. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate cookies. (A ziplock bag with the end snipped off works too!)

**Note: This step is important. This insures a frosting with a good consistency. Time yourself and beat it on high for at least 3 min!

I had a lot of fun decorating these cookies! It was quite the assembly line process on the coffee table. I did this while Hubby played video games. Tehehe... It's pidely work, but I love it and it gets awesome reactions! The cookies tasted really good too, perfect balance of chewy and crisp with a good ginger spice without being too powerful. Even better with the frosting!

Anywho, Im to eat a cookie, or two...then off to bed for me!


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