What say’s “holiday season” more than gingerbread cookies? As I write this, I’m still in absolute shock that Christmas is already over. How is it possible that 2019 is coming to a close? Does anyone feel like time is just flying by or is it just me because I’m getting old? We always have dinner at my in-laws on the 24th and needless to say, I am the one who handles dessert.
Traditionally, a Bûche de Noël or “Yule Log Cake” is served with Christmas dinner but as I have to make an “entremet” or mousse cake for my CAP exam, I figured it would be a great opportunity to practice.
To switch things up, I did invest in a silicone mold rather than using a normal pan. My mother-in-law also requested ‘Christmas cookies, like the ones that you see in movies’ so of course that meant I finally had a chance to make gingerbread cookies this season.
All credit for this recipe goes to Cook’s Illustrated, it is not my own. For those of you who do not know of them, Cook’s Illustrated is the magazine by America’s Test Kitchen. They test the hell out of recipes, trying different ingredients, equipment, until they have the perfect recipe.
Of course, Christmas cookies also means decorating, so I whipped up a batch of royal icing, colored a bit for decorating the trees and used some mini M&M’s for the gingerbread men’s buttons. All in all, they were the perfect addition to our Christmas dinner and I have leftovers to enjoy with my morning coffees for the next couple days!
What did you think of tthe recipe. Let me know in the comment section below and don’t hesitate to share some photos of your creations on social media with the #mysecretconfections and tag me @natalyamseddar !
- Stand Mixer
- Cookie Sheets
- Parchment Paper
- Cookie Cutters
- Rolling Pin
- 384 g all-purpose flour
- 150 g brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 170 g butter (softened)
- 245 g molasses
- 2 tbsp milk
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the mixer, with the paddle, add the butter and sugar. Cream until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the flour, in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides as needed. The mixture should resemble sand.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the molasses and milk and mix until the dough comes together, about 10-15 seconds.
- Turn the dough out on a sheet of parchment paper and pat into a ball. Alternatively you can split the dough into two balls, if it's easier to work with. Cover the dough with an other sheet of parchment paper and roll out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. The thinner you roll your dough, the less chewy it will be.
- If making the cookies right away, put the dough in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. I however, made it the day before and left it in the fridge. It won't be as sticky and much easier to work with when it's chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°f) and position the racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions
- If you split the dough into two parts, work with one at a time, keeping the other part in the freezer. Remove the parchment from one side of the dough, and place on a floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place onto a parchment lined (or silicone cooking mat) cookie sheet.
- This dough softens quite quickly so I like to pop the pan into the fridge or freezer, for a couple minutes before cooking. You can also re-roll the scraps of the dough for more cookies, however be sure to chill again before using.
- If baking two trays at once, rotate the pans half way through baking. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until the centers of the cookies are set.