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Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies

christmas cookies

I couldn’t resist one more batch of cookies for Christmas and as you can probably tell, I found myself some snowflake cookie cutters. Now, ordinarily I would bake your standard sugar cookie for decorating purposes but I promised to make a gingerbread house for my daughters, which we did from the same dough.

They are a true gingerbread cookie – loaded with spices and flavour and a beautiful golden brown colour which makes decorating an easy task.

christmas cookies

I decorated them with royal icing and a sprinkle of sparkle (edible glitter, sparkling sugar and oyster pearls). I have included the royal icing recipe below, the easy option – using meringue powder over real egg whites. I hate to say it but the meringue powder version makes things so straight forward and there is very little room for error.

I promise you no more cookies for a while. I am done as they are dusted – frosted, sprinkled and speckled. I have had cookies up to pussies bow (meaning my neck) and I am going on a cookie strike for the next couple of weeks – or until I give in to the pleas of my daughters.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
226 grams/8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Pop back in your freezer for 10 minutes to chill further and then bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.

Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate as desired

Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Add water slowly, a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until combined. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. Using a pastry bag, pipe your design on each cookie and let stand for several hours (1 – 2 hours) to set. Ensure you keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden. Remember if the icing is too thick, to thin it with water and if it becomes too thin, then thicken it with icing sugar (confectioners sugar). Also, if you would like to colour your icing, then gels are the best option.

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