Wednesday, December 14, 2011

‘Tis the Season to Bake Gingerbread Cookies!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… With less than 2 weeks to go, the spirit of Christmas is truly in the air! This is one of my most favourite times of year. There are flashing lights everywhere, Christmas carols can be heard from buskers, shop windows are filled with sparkling decorations and no matter where you go you will most probably end up with glitter all over you! But most importantly Christmas is a time for sharing food with loved ones. 

Nothing says Christmas more than gingerbread cookies. When the cookies are baking, the smell of Christmas floats through the kitchen, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves... 

The following was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. 

2 cups GF flour, plus more for rolling 
1 teaspoon xanthan gum 
2 teaspoons ground ginger 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (approx. 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar 
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses* 
1 egg 

Icing to decorate (I used Queen decorating icing which is GF!) 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt; set aside. 

2. With an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar, in a separate bowl, until smooth. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry mixture and mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap and pat into a 20cm square. Wrap well and chill until firm (1 to 2 hours). 

3. Preheat oven to 180°C . Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half), place dough on floured baking paper; roll out 1cm thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm, for about 20 minutes. 

4. Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to baking tray. Handy hint: for the neatest edges, dip cutters in flour before cutting out each cookie. 

5. Bake for 10 to 18 minutes, depending on size, until firm and edges just begin to darken. Cool completely on baking sheets. 

6. Decorate cookies with icing. 

Makes 40-50 cookies (depending on size of cutters) 

*NOTE: Unsulphured molasses is made from mature sugar cane. It is a sweet, sticky syrup used commonly in baking. This can be found in supermarkets and health food stores.

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