Sunday, November 29, 2009

Easier To Roll Gingerbread

Oh look, the gingerbread man is wearing a's that for inter-faith holiday cookies?

I'm submitting this post to Season three of Eat Christmas Cookies, Susan the Food Blogga's yearly feature of the sparkliest, prettiest, most festive cookies from around the world. Oh yeah, they taste pretty good too.

Food Blogga's cookie round-up HERE
Want to participate? Info HERE

I put up the tree last evening (don't worry, we have an artificial one, it will last all month) and thought it would look better with some cookies. That's kind of my personal philosophy anyway-that most things are better with cookies...and don't skimp on the edible glitter. I had some cute cellophane treat bags, so in the cookies went, and then onto the tree. It really helps to make the dough ahead, but a few hours in the fridge will do the trick.

I've always relied on the rolled gingerbread recipe in the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook from 1950. Mind, that is an excellent recipe, and for constructing houses, models, etc. probably superior to this one for sheer durability...but gosh, you sure need upper body strength to roll it out. I don't have any-at least not this year.

Following on the success with the gingersnaps from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies book from 1966, I went ahead and tried their rolled gingerbread recipe. Know what? It rolls beautifully. So well, in fact, I could have gotten by using the small rolling pin rather than the heavy beast I employ for normal gingerbread. Also, unlike ordinary cookie dough, this one rolled better after warming up a bit. It did not spread or puff up too much in the oven either. On the other hand, it contains an entire cup of Crisco, so by golly, it ought to roll easy. I did not need extra flour for rolling out the dough, which is almost unheard of with gingerbread which is notoriously sticky. Again, I credit the shortening. The lack of extra flour helps keep the cookies from becoming tough as well. Overall, this may be my new favourite gingerbread recipe.

You Will Need:

1 cup solid shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup full flavour molasses
2 tablespoons white vinegar
5 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream shortening with sugar. Stir in the egg, molasses and vinegar. Mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and add. Mix well. Wrap in cling film and chill at least three hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets (or use silicone pads). Roll out cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Decorate as desired with sanding sugar, glitter, etc. Bake roughly ten minutes, but you'll need to keep checking. Cool slightly on pan, then remove to a rack and cool completely before icing.


Susan from Food Blogga said...

Interfaith ginger bread men-- I love that! Thanks for sending over these little guys, Goody. I'm sure they'll be a big hit! And thanks so much for your kind words about my event.

Goody said...

Glad to have the opportunity to participate.