Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gingerbread Stars

Another installment of my holiday package breakdown. Last night, I baked two more types of cookies and packed up the boxes. Today I'm off to the post office. Then I'm done! For a while at least... I can't believe people do this every year.

These gingerbread cookies ended up being my favorite item in the boxes, which was very surprising for me because I thought I didn't like gingerbread. I have no idea why I thought that, but I was obviously wrong. Now that I have discovered my new love for gingerbread, I'm going to try making a loaf.

These were great because they were not too sweet (you know me, I don't really like sweet things... except for those sour patch kids), but they had lots of flavor from the extra spices and the orange zest I added to the Paula Deen recipe, which I picked as the starting point based on the fact that it used molasses, since I have a big bottle of it for some forgotten reason. The decorating part of these was extremely trying. As you can see, I have not pictured the truly horrific looking ones. (There were many. The really ugly ones are a great excuse to eat some while you decorate.)

Gingerbread Stars
Adapted (spiced up) from Paula Deen

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (she suggested dark)
1 stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground all spice
1/2 tsp. salt
zest from one medium orange, very fine

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs. milk
2 drops vanilla extract
food coloring

-Cream the butter and the sugar in an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, then the molasses, and mix until combined.
-Sift together the dry ingredients (flour through salt) then add the orange zest.
-Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a spoon to combine.
-Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-Let the dough sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or until it becomes pliable.
-Take about a quarter of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Reroll scraps, repeat.
-Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes until just brown on the edges. Cool on wire racks before icing.
-Mix the powdered sugar with the vanilla and milk for the icing. This does not make very much icing, so two batches would be a good idea. Color as desired.


MK said...

waaaaay too cute!!!

Marilyn said...

Such lovely stars, and the best gifts are always handmade. They make me happier just looking at them.

Aunt Kristen said...

Where do we sign up for the box of treats!

Aunt Kristen said...

I am positively trying the brined turkey recipe. Are you cooking full time and writing on the side now? Hope to see you over the holidays!

Uncle Mike said...

My question is if you're this fabulous cook, how come you, Nick and I are always going out to dinner when I'm in town?

Great stuff Kate. Turkey looks great.

Kate said...

Hmmmmm good question Uncle Mike.

Anonymous said...

Soooooo pretty! I LOVE the colors!

Anonymous said...

ps - TOOOOO cute that your fam leaves you comments. LOVE IT! :)