Nothing says Christmas more than the wonderful scent of baking gingerbread. This recipe adds
cocoa to the gingerbread for a little chocolate flavor. When the cookies are cool, decorate with royal
icing, white or tinted. If desired, decorate with silver dragees. If you want to hang the cookies on
your Christmas tree, make a small hole in the top if each cookie before baking; thread ribbons
through the holes after they are decorated.
(Makes about 48 (2-inch) or 24 large cookies)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg then the molasses.
Sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the
butter mixture to form a dough. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with cookie
cutters and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes.
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 1 minute.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
We often think of only
gingerbread men when we think
of gingerbread cookies but you
can easily use this same
recipe for many other designs.
Here we have made snowflake
cookies. They are outlined with
royal icing, dusted with sanding
sugar, and decorated with silver
Royal Icing is a pure white icing that dries to a smooth, hard, matte finish.
Royal Icing is simply a mixture of confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and raw
egg whites. Many people prefer to use meringue powder in place of the raw
egg whites because of the risk of salmonella when using raw egg whites and
also for its ease of use. Meringue powder is a fine, white powder used to
replace fresh egg whites and is made from dried egg whites, sugar, salt,
vanillin and gum. When beaten with water and confectioners sugar it has the
same consistency as icing made with fresh egg whites.
Royal Icing made with Egg Whites
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the
sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container.
Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
Royal Icing made with Meringue Powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons water
With an electric mixer, beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder
until combined. Add the water. Beat on medium to high speed until very
glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. To get the right consistency,
add more confectioners’ sugar or water.
MERINGUE POWDER OR POWDERED EGG WHITES
Many people prefer to use meringue
powder or powdered egg whites in place of
the raw egg whites because of the risk of
salmonella when using raw egg whites
and also for its ease of use. Meringue
powder is a fine, white powder used to
replace fresh egg whites and is made from
dried egg whites and sometimes contains
sugar, cornstarch and food gum. Powdered
egg whites are 100% dried egg whites.
When either product is beaten with water
and confectioners sugar it has the same
consistency as icing made with fresh egg