Since Thanksgiving I have been dying to try out a good gingerbread men recipe. I always loved the taste of gingerbread and molasses cookies and I wanted to give them a try in my own kitchen. I spent all night Tuesday researching through my mom's library of cookbooks and found a great recipe from the Southern Living 2012 Christmas Cookbook.
Each year, Southern Living publishes a new holiday cookbook for just $10 where the proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House. As an ADPi and having RMH be our philanthropy, I highly recommend that everyone purchase the 2016 cookbook! Each year, Southern Living packs the book with delicious and easy recipes for everyone to enjoy. My mom has probably the past 10 years cookbooks and whenever I am looking for a new cookie recipe to try, I always look there first. And $10?? What a deal!
This cookie recipe, like I mentioned, is from the 2012 cookbook and can be found on page 215. I only used the cookie dough recipe for these cookies. The royal icing recipe was found on Foodnetwork.com and is from Alton Brown (down below).
For the cookies you will need...
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup molasses
1/4 cup water
5 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
1 and 1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy
2. Stir together 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda with 1/4 cup of water until dissolved. Then, stir the baking soda and water mixture into the 1 cup of molasses. You will see the baking soda begin to react, that's okay.
3. Combine flour and the next four ingredients. I sifted them all together in a big bowl. Add flour to butter and sugar mixture alternately with the molasses mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Shape dough into a ball and let chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll dough to 1/4 of an inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack for about 20 minutes to finish cooling.
Royal Icing by Alton Brown
For the Icing you will need...
3 ounces of pasteurized egg whites (about one and a half egg whites)
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
4 cups of confectioners' sugar
1. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy.
2. Add confectioners' sugar slowly on a low speed, once all combined, turn speed up to high and beat until mixture turns stiff, glossy peaks.