Friday, December 14, 2012

Egg Free Gingerbread Men Cookies

It's a cookie week. :) I have been on the hunt for a good gingerbread man cookie recipe.  I ate a gingerbread man cookie once that was just absolutely perfect (in my opinion).  It was thick and firm, but chewy once you sunk your teeth into it- not crunchy- but not exactly soft either.  This cookie also didn't seem to have any cracks on top once it baked and cooled.  I've tried at least half a dozen different gingerbread man cookie recipe and while they tasted good, they always cracked on top and were really soft.  I think I've finally found a cookie recipe to match this mystery cookie I ate once upon a time.  Even better, they were already egg free!!

Gingerbread Men Cookies
From Egg Free Bakery, slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar 
3 Tbsp shortening 
3/4 cup molasses 
1/3 cold water 
3-1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp ground ginger 
1/2 tsp ground allspice 
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp ground cloves 
1/4 teaspoon salt
Easy Creamy Frosting 
2 cups powdered sugar 
1/2 tsp vanilla 
About 2-1/2 Tbsp half-and-half (you could use milk too)

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water.  Mix well.  Stir in remaining cookie ingredients.  Roll dough into a ball.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove dough from refrigerator and carefully roll out onto a lightly floured surface.  (I found I had to knead the dough a little bit to get it to a workable consistency before I rolled it out.  It will crack a bit around the edges, but the rest of the dough should roll out just fine) Roll out to desired thickness- obviously thinner for thinner cookies, thicker for thicker cookies.  Cut out with floured cookie cutters and transfer to greased cookie sheets.  Bake 8-12 minutes.  If you want softer, chewy cookies, bake 8-10 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  For the frosting, mix all frosting ingredients in a bowl until smooth and spreadable.  Use a butter knife or the back of a spoon to spread frosting onto cooled cookies. You could also pipe cute faces and buttons onto the cookies too.  I don't have the patience for that-- at least not this year. :) Let frosting set up for about 24 hours before stacking the cookies.

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