Friday, December 18, 2009

My Favorite Finds #10

One of my favorite memories as a child was going to my Grandma's on Christmas eve and getting to eat her Gingerbread Cookies. They were always decorated perfectly. She even used silver dragées, which, as a child, I thought I was in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory candy garden! Come to find out later, she didn't make them. Her sister, my great aunt, made them and sent them to her. When I "grew up" and went out on my own, I wanted to make the same cookies. I found the recipe that tasted almost the same as her's, but my cookies never did look as perfect. As I started my own family and traditions, my gingerbread cookies became a part of our Christmas! I found this recipe in an older version of Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. I use their Butter Frosting recipe as well.

Gingerbread Cutouts

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
2-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Beat shortening in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until combined. Beat in molasses, egg, and vinegar until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.
Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 3 hours or until easy to handle.

Roll each portion of dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a floured cookie cutter.
Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes 24 to 30 cookies.

Butter Frosting

1/3 cup butter or margarine
4-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Food coloring (optional)
1. In a mixing bowl beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.
2. Slowly beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk, if needed, to reach spreading consistency. If desired, tint with food coloring. This frosts tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch layers.

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Thanks for reading my blog! Marni