12/07/2009

Silly Gingerbreadmen

They're having a super-fun Cake & Crumbs Holiday Cookie Bake-off at Tongue-N-Cheeky so I'm entering our Silly Gingerbreadmen! At our house, they're Santa's favorite (he has quite the morbid sense of humor). So, grab your own favorite recipe and you can join in on the fun.
Even if you don't bake, you can
go there and leave a comment to win all sorts of fabulous prizes...be sure to say how fabulous these cookies are;).
Funny Gingerbread Men
Ingredients:
Gingerbread Cookie Dough (recipe below or buy a easy mix)
Royal Icing (Recipes below)
Quart Ziploc Freezer bag(s)
Candies or sprinkles to decorate with
Gingerbread Man cookie cutter
Sharp knife

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out gingerbread men with cookie cutter and place on a greased baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, cut off a limb or head using diagonal cuts (see video tutorial).


video


Bake at 350 for 7-11 minutes, until barely brown. Remove from pan and cool completely. Place about 1/2 c. Royal Icing into a quart-sized Ziploc Freezer bag, snip a small bit off one corner, and use to pipe out icing decorations. Add candy, sprinkles, or whatever you want. Be sure to make the Gingerbread Men's faces sad or surprised! Enjoy!

THICK AND CHEWY GINGERBREAD COOKIES from Cooks Illustrated
Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
1. In food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade, process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda until combined, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is sandy and resembles very fine meal, about 15 seconds. With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk; process until dough is evenly moistened and forms soft mass, about 10 seconds. Alternatively, in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, gradually add molasses and milk; mix until dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.
2. Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll 1/4-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)
3. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
4. Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and gently lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring shapes to parchment-lined cookie sheets with wide metal spatula, spacing them 3/4 inch apart; set scraps aside. Repeat with remaining dough until cookie sheets are full. Bake cookies until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes, rotating cookie sheets front to back and switching positions top to bottom halfway through baking time. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then remove with wide metal spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.
5. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, cutting, and baking in steps 2 and 4. Repeat with remaining dough until all dough is used.

ROYAL ICING (Egg White Recipe)
Ingredients:
3 egg whites, room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Combine ingredients, beat at high speed for 7-10 minutes.

ROYAL ICING (Meringue Powder recipe)
Ingredients:
3 tbsp. meringue powder (you can get this in the wedding/cake supplies at Wal-Mart)
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
6 tbsp. warm water (in humidity use less water)
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks at low speed. Yield approximately 3 cups.

Notes: Please keep icing covered with a damp cloth or paper towel while not in use, otherwise it will harden. To attach eyeballs to food, moisten the back of the eyeball with a little water and it will stick to most anything.