Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Iced Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Growing up, one of my favorite store bought cookies was Archway's Iced Spice cookies (though for some unknown reason we called them "Icy Spicy"s).  It now appears that they may have stopped making them, though I thought I bought some maybe last year (I'm probably mistaken and had bought another iced variety).  When it was announced that this month's What's Baking theme was "Baking with Gingerbread" I knew I wanted to try to recreate my beloved spice cookie.

I had made gingerbread men in the past but those weren't the soft cookies I was going for.  I did a little Google search and the picture accompanying this recipe was exactly what I was looking for.  I set out to make them ,but I wanted to go a little more festive with them.  I was going to use these for my cookie swap I signed up for on my cooking forum, so I bought a snowflake cookie cutter and got to work.

I also used a trick I learned from watching Rachael (Rachael Ray's daytime show).  When using molasses or honey, line the measuring cup with plastic wrap.  Pour the sticky stuff in, then lift out the plastic wrap carefully, and while holding it over the bowl of batter, cut a hole in the plastic and let it drip through.  You can squeeze it out to make sure you get every last drop, plus you don't have to clean the measuring cup after!

The end result was exactly what I was looking for.  It tasted just like I remembered!  Of course they puffed a bit in the oven so the detailed edges of the snowflakes were a bit lost and after looking at the photos I realize I inadvertently made and sent iced Jewish star cookies.  Oops!  At least they were delicious Jewish stars!

Iced Soft Gingerbread Cookies (slightly adapted from

2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup molasses

2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg until well combined, then stir in the water and molasses.  Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients.
- If you want regular cookies, roll into walnut sized balls, place onto a lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly.
- If you are going to use a cookie cutter, roll all dough into one large ball and wrap well in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least an hour in fridge.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4 in thickness.  use cookie cutter to make desired shapes, re-rolling excess dough  only once more.  Place onto a lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.  Add the additional tbsps of as needed to reach your desired consistency.  Carefully dip cookies in the icing and allow to harden before storing.

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