Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Baking

I love to bake, though don’t do it nearly as often as I want to. I’m not one to follow directions well, so I guess it’s surprising that my baked goods turn out so well. I use liquid measuring cups for dry ingredients and don’t measure ingredients exactly, but rather close enough. Usually that means I add a little more of things. As I said, it turns out pretty well.

Almost every holiday I end up trying a new cookie recipe. This year it was for gingerbread cookies. It was only in the past few years that I realized that I like gingerbread. At this year’s cookie exchange, Knitty Jen made adorable little gingerbread men cookies. I think I ate every one of the dozen or so I brought home. They were delish! So, I decided to make my own.

After reviewing Knitty Jen’s recipe, though, I realized that I should check a few other recipes – due to the recent destruction of my food processor (The hubby and I both knocked it off of a table. May it rest in pieces). So, after reviewing several recipes, I decided on one found in 1001 Cookie Recipes.

Of course, it still meant I needed to go grocery shopping, since I don’t normally keep molasses in the cupboard.

After work last night I made the dough. As I transferred the dough from my beloved Kitchen Aide stand-up mixer to a bowl, I noticed it was rather crumbly. I just figured it was the norm and covered the bowl before placing it in the fridge.

Fast-forward about 24 hours. After work tonight I pulled out the dough to start rolling it for cutouts. That didn’t work too well. The dough was still very crumbly. So…off to the laptop to Google “gingerbread cookie dough crumbly”. The first hit was a wonderful short video from all about making gingerbread cookies. Yay! I found a possible solution. Back to the kitchen to clean out my mixing bowl and transfer the dough back to it…adding a bit of water to the mix. That did the trick.

I was able to get 18 large-ish hearts and 25 smaller hearts out of the dough. They look and smell delicious. I also whipped up a small batch of lemon buttercream frosting to use on some of the cookies. The recipe? Several tablespoons of unsalted butter, about 2 teaspoons of pure lemon extract, about 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, a few cups of powdered sugar, a few tablespoons of skim milk and several drops of yellow food coloring. Yeah…I’m really great at keeping track of how much of what I used.

Unlike Knitty Jen's cookies, mine are soft gingerbread cookies.

After the cookies cool and I frost a few, I’ll take some photos. Maybe I’ll even remember to share the photos.

Other yummy tasks for tonight included making dark chocolate truffles. That deserves its own post…another time.

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