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gingerbread cookies
Photo courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America

These Gingerbread Cookies Taste Like Winter in the Hudson Valley

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Is there anything more nostalgic than a batch of gingerbread cookies to signal the arrival of the first snowfall? This season, whip up this recipe from the Culinary Institute of America, then round up family and friends to decorate each of the festive characters on a snowy afternoon.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe by The Culinary Institute of AmericaCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

24

5 1/2-inch cookies
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

14

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

44

minutes

This recipe for gingerbread cookies is courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America.

Ingredients

  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger

  • 1 ½ tsp ground allspice

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • ¾ cup tightly packed dark brown sugar

  • ½ cup honey

  • 2 large eggs

  • Royal icing for decorating

  • Royal Icing
  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

  • 2 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  • Liquid or paste food colorings as needed, optional

Directions

  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, allspice, and salt and set aside.
  • In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and honey on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix until smooth and light, another 2–3 minutes. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the dough is evenly mixed. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick, reserving the remainder in the refrigerator. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake until golden around the edges, 12–14 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. After 10 minutes, run a spatula under the cookies to free them from the baking sheets. Allow to finish cooling completely on baking sheets before decorating.
  • Royal Icing
  • In a clean, grease-free bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed just until they become loose, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing on low speed until the egg whites become frothy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar gradually with the mixer on low speed. Continue to mix until the icing holds a soft peak and is dull in appearance, about 2 minutes. If desired, divide the icing among smaller bowls and add food coloring.
  • If you won’t be using the icing right away, take the following steps to keep the icing from drying out: Clean the sides of the bowl or container to remove any drips; if a dry crust develops on the bowl, small pieces can drop into the icing and clog the tip of your pastry bag or parchment paper cone. Place a dampened paper towel directly on the surface of the icing and then cover the bowl very tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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