It’s hard to believe, but it’s time to think about holiday baking! November is the month to start getting your cookies and cookie doughs ready for the festive season. There are so many timeless styles of holiday cookies that we all enjoy, I thought that a classic decorated gingerbread cookie would make a perfect challenge for this month!
This is your chance to shine – show me your personality through your choice of cookie cutters, icing details and decorating accents. I’d love to see a family collection – get everyone decorating!
And if you have a favourite holiday cookie recipe that your family makes, let’s hear about it!
DECORATED GINGERBREAD COOKIES
Makes about 2 dozen
¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
6 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup fancy molasses
1 large egg at room temperature
1 ½ cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¾ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ Tbsp meringue powder
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
3 Tbsp warm water
food colour pastes (optional)
coloured sugars or other edible décor
1. Beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
2. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Shape the dough into 2 disks, wrap and chill for about an hour up to 2 days (the dough will still be soft, even once chilled).
3. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 2-3 baking trays with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first disk of dough until just over 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter of your choosing to cut out desired shapes. Lift the cookies carefully to the prepared trays, leaving about ½-inch between them. Any scraps can be stored chilled and then re-rolled until it has all been used.
4. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes until you see them brown a little just around the edges. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the tray before removing to cool completely.
5. For the royal icing, beat the meringue powder, icing sugar and warm water with an electric mixer until peaks form (approximately 10-12 minutes). Divide the icing into bowls and stir in colour, if desired
6. To assemble, spoon the royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe desired patterns, lines or dots on the cookies and sprinkle with coloured sugars or other edible décor. Let the cookies dry for 2 hours before packing.
The cookies will keep up to a week in an airtight container.
Adapted from Bake with Anna Olson
Here's how Bake Off works:
- Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson, picks a recipe middle of every month
- You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair)
- Email us (email@example.com) a picture and short descriptive blurb before December 12th at 9am ET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away a $250 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and an autographed copy of Anna's cookbook).
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!
by Anna Olson