Baking cookies during the Christmas season is one of my favourite things to do. There is nothing like the sweet smell of the kitchen over the holidays when you are baking for your family and friends.
This year is extra special because I am able to include my daughter who is almost four in this tradition. She is always eager to “help” me in the kitchen so today I thought it would be fun for us make some gingerbread cookies.
I pulled out a holiday issue of Martha Stewart magazine I bought six years ago. It is entirely about holiday cookies and I always reference her gingerbread recipe, it is simple and straightforward.
Baking with an almost year old was a very comical experience. We were working around her baby sister’s nap schedule so it took us most of the day to finish, but between the clouds of flour in our faces and almost the entire batch of cookies falling on the floor it was SO hilarious to share the tradition with her. I think there will be lots more baking in our future.
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (I put one of my thirds in the freezer to use on another day)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut using cookie cutters of your choice.
- Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
- Decorate with Royal Icing. (Royal icing becomes very hard when dry which makes it ideal for gingerbread houses!)
Royal Icing Ingredients
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups of icing sugar
- Whisk egg whites until the start to foam.
- Add sugar until thick consistency is made.