Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When A Gingerbread Man Is Not The Man Of Your Dreams

 I haven't had a celebrity crush since Corey Haim in Lost Boys, that is until I went to Thomas Kellers Bouchon Bakery several years ago. One boring Saturday afternoon I stalked researched Thomas Keller on google, 4 hours and 10 minutes later I had 37 recipes that I was so excited to try. So far they had all been wonderful, then just like Corey Haim in Dream a Little Dream II, Thomas Keller let me down.
My dad loves gingerbread so I was so excited to find a Thomas Keller gingerbread cookie recipe. After reading the recipe a few times to get familiar with it, I started making the spiciest cookie dough I have ever smelled. The recipe was very straight forward so I whipped it up in no time and refrigerated it overnight. The next day I took it straight out of the refrigerator to roll out and it was a goopy mess. After repeated attempts I did manage to get 3 gingerbread men cut out and transferred to a cookie sheet. 12 minutes in the oven and the Gingerbread men came out in need of a trip to the Biggest Looser Ranch, and a good laser resurfacing. With dough to soft for my nerves to handle, I ended up just using my cookie scoop for the next few batches, then threw the rest down the garbage disposal.
Taking the few plain gingerbread cookies with me to my dads Christmas party, I reluctantly placed them out on a plate, and within minutes they were devoured, people loved them. They ended up more like gingerbread than a gingerbread cookie, soft, moist and spicy. So if you are looking for a cookie for gingerbread lovers this is it, if you are looking for a cookie you can decorate cute then this is NOT it.

Gingerbread Cookies
From Yahoo's website Shine

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 ¼ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ cup +  2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cup molasses
2 eggs
2 ¼ Teaspoons vanilla extract

1.    Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
2.    Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3.    Add the molasses and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4.    Add the eggs and mix on low speed for one minute.
5.    Add the dry ingredients in three parts, mixing just to combine after each addition.
6.    Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. (I refrigerated overnight)
7.    When the dough is thoroughly chilled, remove from the refrigerator and roll it out to ¼ of an inch. (I used a cookie scoop)
8.    Cut into shapes using cookie cutters and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non-stick liner. (Good luck with that)
9.    Bake at 325F for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie.
10.    Cool the cookies on a rack.
11.    To make the icing, sift the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the egg whites and lemon juice, and using the paddle attachment, start to mix on low speed then mix on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
12.    If the icing is too thick, add a few drops of water. If it is too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.
13.    Divide the icing between small bowls and color as desired.
14.    Use your imagination to decorate the cookies
(Don't need to do any of this, because these cookies are not the decorating type)

As disappointed as I am with this as a gingerbread man recipe, it really is a tasty gingerbread flavored cookie, and a crowd pleasser during the holidays. It tasted so good, I actually made the recipe again to take into my office.

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