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.)
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
-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.