When you think of Gingerbread cookies, this is the flavor and texture. Not soft, but crunchy. It isn’t Ginger bread. They are Gingerbread Cookies. Big Difference! Perfect Recipe and texture for building housed as it doesn’t rise and spread too much. Top these, not overly spicy, cookies with frosting, or my favorite Royal Icing flavored with cinnamon oil to enhance the taste.
PREHEAT OVEN: 325° MAKES:APPROXIMATELY 24
SPECIAL TOOLS: SILPATS
2 sticks or 16 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 TBS ground ginger
2 TBS ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses
6 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
Royal Icing with colors, sugars, edibles to decorate
In a large bowl or mixer bowl of a Stand mixer, add Butter, sugar. Beat with flat paddle if using a stand mixer or beat until fluffy around 2 minutes. Add ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, salt, eggs, molasses. Beat well stopping mixer and scraping down sides of bowl as you go so all ingredients are mixed well.
In another bowl or on parchment paper, add flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix together.
With mixer on low speed, adding 2 cups at a time and incorporate flour and butter mixture until all flour is mixed well.
The dough will not be sticky.
Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and shape into discs. Place in plastic wrap or plastic bags and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let gluten develop. This is important. You can do this step 3 days prior to rolling and baking or freeze for up to 2 months, just allow dough to thaw in refrigerator before rolling and baking.
Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to rest on counter for 15 minutes to 30 minutes to get soft enough to roll out.
Roll out dough to desired thickness. I like to make my cookies around 1/4 inch thick. If I am making a Gingerbread house, I will roll out to 1/2 inch thick so the cookie is sturdier to withstand the manipulating of walls and roofs without breaking.
Place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silicone Silpat Mats. I love my Silpat’s as they allow perfect browning on the bottom and food does not stick and releases cookies perfectly.
Place in oven and bake for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on size of cookie. If you are making a 3 to 4 inch cookie, 12 minutes is what works in my oven and most ovens at 325° for a 3 to 4 inch cookie. I always set timer half way through recommended time and check doneness. Everyone’s oven cooks differently. This ensures your cookies do not burn.
Turn baking sheets around in oven so front is in back now to allow even cooking.
When cookies start browning on edges slightly, test for doneness. They should be a little soft but not too soft. Your first batch usually is your tester batch to see if your oven is too hot or too cold or just right. ( I often will test bake 3 cookies with a new recipe to adjust oven or baking time. Then proceed with the rest of the baking once I have the temperature and timing down.)
Let cool for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack to cool completely.
Place cookies in tins or bags, laying cookies flat, or other air tight containers, until ready to decorate.
Makes approximately 24 to 36 cookies depending on size of cookie cutter.