Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

I need to start reading recipes more thoroughly before I start to make them. I hadn't realized these were roll-out cookies. I thought they were drop cookies and that they would end up soft and round like a sugar cookie or an oatmeal-raisin cookie or something. Nope! Roll-out cookie! And of course I did not have a gingerbread man cookie cutter so... I made gingerbread cats. From my Halloween cookie cutter set. Super.

These are easy to make and they are tasty. They did not take very long. Recipes from Cook's Illustrated magazine are unnecessarily verbose and make it sound really scary. It is not scary. This is a yummy recipe and I like the softness of the cookies. I didn't want it to be like a gingersnap and it isn't so that's perfect. I have a lot of other gingerbread cookie recipes to try, but I would consider making this one again.

Oh and PS I did add flour during rolling because otherwise the dough is very sticky and impossible to roll out. It did not affect my cookies. And I got about 18 cookies.

cat

Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Cook's Illustrated, 11/99

Because flour is not added during rolling, dough scraps can be rolled and cut as many times as necessary Don't overbake the cookies or they will be dry. Store soft gingerbread in a wide, shallow airtight container or tin with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper between each cookie layer. These cookies are best eaten within one week. If you make gingerbread people, this recipe will make about twenty 3-inch people.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces and softened slightly
3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons milk

1. In food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade, process flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda until combined, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is sandy and resembles very fine meal, about 15 seconds. With machine running, gradually add molasses and milk; process until dough is evenly moistened and forms soft mass, about 10 seconds. Alternatively, in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add butter pieces; mix at medium-low speed until mixture is sandy and resembles fine meal, about 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, gradually add molasses and milk; mix until dough is evenly moistened, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds.

2. Scrape dough onto work surface; divide in half. Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll 1/4-inch thick between two large sheets of parchment paper. Leaving dough sandwiched between parchment layers, stack on cookie sheet and freeze until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight.)

3. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

4. Remove one dough sheet from freezer; place on work surface. Peel off top parchment sheet and gently lay it back in place. Flip dough over; peel off and discard second parchment layer. Cut dough into 5-inch gingerbread people or 3-inch gingerbread cookies, transferring shapes to parchment-lined cookie sheets with wide metal spatula, spacing them 3/4 inch apart; set scraps aside. Repeat with remaining dough until cookie sheets are full. Bake cookies until set in centers and dough barely retains imprint when touched very gently with fingertip, 8 to 11 minutes, rotating cookie sheets front to back and switching positions top to bottom halfway through baking time. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes, then remove with wide metal spatula to wire rack; cool to room temperature.

5. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, cutting, and baking in steps 2 and 4. Repeat with remaining dough until all dough is used.

Yield: 20-30 cookies

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