Several SHIFT employees moonlight as avid bloggers, whether it be about professional development, movies, or in this case, cooking. Following is a recent post from Boston’s Christina Feeney’spersonal blog, Bon Appetit Beantown. You can catch her at @cfeeney. Enjoy!
T-minus 3.5 days until Christmas! Wait, wasn’t it just Thanksgiving? The season has certainly flown by, but I feel good knowing I’ve indulged in a few of my favorite holiday festivities: a few Christmas parties, decorating the tree with the fam and a lovely ugly sweater pub crawl (legen – wait for it – dary).
I even made sure to bake up some yummy Gingerbread Cookies to decorate with the bf. I nabbed this recipe from Paula Dean on FoodNetwork.com. The whole process is quite easy, but you do need to refrigerate the dough for about an hour and then let it rest table-side for another 15 minutes – definitely something to keep in mind if you’re planning to make these at the last minute (which I was, obviously).
Another thing to keep in mind is to stick to the ¼ inch rolling (too thin and you’ll burn them…which I learned after two trays) and skimp on the flour in the recipe. After reading the comments, which you should always do before getting started, it sounded like most people ended up with dough that was too dry and later paired down the amount of flour. The recipe below reflects that change.
Decorating is of course the best part. I made stockings, stars, snow men, candy canes and gingerbread men. Two favorites:
These cookies are perfect for curling up next to a fire (or Yankee candle) and watching an old school Christmas movie (or the Patriots game).
For the cookies:
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 stick salted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the icing:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Food coloring
- Assorted Christmas sprinkles
- Using a hand mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Mix in the eggs and molasses.
- Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a separate large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix with a spoon.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable.
- Line 3 cookies sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat. Take about 1/2 cup dough at a time and roll on a floured surface until – to 1/4-inch thick.
- Cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Re-roll the scraps and roll out more dough; repeat.
- Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheets, leaving space between them.
- Refrigerate the cookies for 20 minutes, then bake until they just begin to brown at the edges, 11 to 15 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, you can begin the icing . Combine the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a bowl.
- Leave white or divide among bowls and add food coloring.
- Decorate the cooled cookies with icing – you can use a pastry bag for precise features or lining or use a knife to spread. Top with sprinkle and enjoy!