January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
I have had my heart set on making some gingerbread men lately. I decided to enlist Avery for some help as he was solemnly driving “loud” Thomas around the kitchen floor. Pretty quickly he impressed his own personal tastes on the process and we were suddenly making gingerbread bunnies instead. Fine by me!
I have always struggled with my gingerbread recipes in the past, I have always found them too bready, too sticky, too bland, or they just rise too much. Very frustrating. This time I was determined to get it right and ended up combining a few different recipes (mostly this one) and sometimes just winging it. I am really happy with the results (and Matt and Avery instantly ate three each, so I must be getting something right). I have put together the basics on what I did, mostly so I don’t forget and find myself back at square one next time!
Avery’s Gingerbread Bunnies
What you’ll need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses (not black-strap…I’ve tried both…)
1 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
For the frosting
1 egg white (perfect, right?!)
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Make cookies. Go!
Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Add in the egg yolk and molasses and keep mixing.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices, make sure they are well mixed and then slowly add them to the wet mixture. At this point I switch my KitchenAid from the whisk attachment to the paddle, it made it a lot easier to mix the dough enough to make it less sticky.
Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and sit in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 and flour a work surface to roll out the dough. Cut the dough with the cookie cutter of choice (bunnies!!) and place on a baking sheet. I like to just place a layer of parchment paper over my sheet to save on cleaning and greasing. Give a little bit of room between each bunny, around an inch, these guys shouldn’t rise too much but you want to give them a bit of breathing room. Bake for 9 minutes! Let sit for 1 or 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
While the cookies are cooling, it’s time to make the icing!
Whisk the egg white until frothy, then add the lemon juice and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and keep whisking until thick and lump free.
ICE THOSE BUNNIES!
I have discovered a nice trick for handling the bags of icing while working. I use ziplock sandwich bags with a small hole cut in one corner to do my icing. To set this up with minimum mess, I take a couple of rocks glasses and place the uncut bags inside them, rolling the ziplock over the edge.
One glass and bag for each color you want to use (Avery specified green and white). Then fill the bag, as much as you like, take the bag out of the glass, squoosh the air out and zip up the ziplock (this stops the icing from accidentally smooshing out all over you….not that that’s ever happened to me…of course…). Cut the hole in a corner, always start with a hole that you think it too small, chances are, it isn’t.