Well the family bake off has come to an end and everyone was in agreement that today was pretty fun although baking and decorating cookies is a lot of hard work. The plan was that I was going to make cake balls, gingerbread men, and one other treat that is going to be left unspoken because they are going to be given as a surprise for my Uncle on Christmas instead. I started making the gingerbread cookies around 3 and quickly ran out of time and energy to even attempt to make the other treats. This of course means I will be busy baking tomorrow, but oh well, tis the season. I tried a recipe for gingerbread cookies that isn't too gingery (not sure if that is a word) but is definitely a keeper because it is so easy to use and make cut outs with. They hold their shape perfectly which is always a concern of mine. Let us start shall we?
Below is the cast of characters.
You will need the following ingredients:
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. molasses
4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and eggs. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, and add the baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; beat into the molasses mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining flour by hand to form a stiff dough.
3. Divide dough into 2 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out cookies to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using cookies cutters. Place cookies one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
My favorite part of this experience was the I got to use my holiday themed cookie cutters that I bought for myself on my birthday, well I picked them out, my brothers bought the gift card that actually paid for them but you know what I mean. The clean stove is compliments of my Aunt Robin, have I ever mentioned I am a sloppy cook and everything gets splattered on my stove/oven? No...well I am bad like that. Did I also mention, I hate cleaning up those messes...yes I do, badly!! Those are two issues that do not go hand in hand which is why my stove is always dirty...sorry Mom...sorry Daniel!
The icing we used to decorate these fabulous cookies was also another winner. Silly me forgot to take pictures of that process but below is the recipe.
1 C. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. milk
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. almond extract
assorted food coloring
1. In a small bowl combine confectioners sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Divide into smaller bowls to add your colors.
See how pretty the icing is on our cookies? Man I just love how these turned out. Aren't we a creative bunch of people?
Creative we are, clean as we go people we are not! I will be cleaning my kitchen for the next two days, which is fine with me, because I am not one to clean my kitchen when I should anyway! Ask my husband! See the picture below...it's ten times worse than this. I am afraid it might also break the new camera if I took a picture so I am just going to skip that step. You will note the lovely lady in the pictures as well. That's Aunt Robin and she made me promise I would not post a picture of her, even threatened she would withhold all of my Christmas presents. Obviously I lied to her and let's get real here. The woman loves Christmas and believe me when I say love is not a strong enough word. Like how I just asked you to believe me after I just got done saying I lied? Sorry, had to chuckle with that one. Anyway, she has been giddy with excitement over her Christmas presents for us this year since before Thanksgiving. I think it's safe to say she won't be withholding anything from me so Aunt Robin, next time you will just have to smile for the camera...lol.
Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the last weekend before Christmas. Daniel finished the hanging of the lights outside this evening. Everything looks really nice and I even helped for about a whole three minutes before I left him and started raking leaves out of the flower bed. I have a few more presents to wrap and of course tomorrow I will be busy finishing all of the treats we were supposed to do today. I think I am starting to get into the holiday spirit but it's definitely not there all the way just yet. Here's hoping it happens soon because we are seriously running out of time.