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Recipe: Robin's Favorite Gingerbread

Here's a gingerbread person recipe from "The Cookie Party Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Cookie Exchange," featured in today's Buffalo News.

Robin’s Favorite Gingerbread
For Advanced Bakers, Holiday
Recipe courtesy of Rose Levy Beranbaum

Rose Levy Beranbaum is an award winning cookbook author and baking expert. This is my favorite gingerbread recipe and I’ve made it for several of my cookie exchanges. Rose graciously agreed to let me share it with you. (Thank you, Rose!) This recipe is for true gingerbread lovers; it’s dark, spicy and hold its shape very well. In the Food Network Holiday Cookie Swap Special that I was featured in, my friend Debby Griffith exclaims “I Love your gingerbread!”  What Debby was really saying is that she loves Rose’s gingerbread!

3 cups bleached all-purpose flour  (dip and sweep method)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light molasses, preferably Grandma’s (use a greased liquid measuring cup)
1 large egg

Soften the butter. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices, then whisk together to mix evenly. In a mixing bowl cream together the brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the molasses and egg and beat until blended. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture until incorporated.

Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap, not your fingers, to press the dough together to form a thick flat disk. Wrap it well and refrigerate it for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C

On a floured pastry cloth, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use gingerbread cutters to cut out the dough. With a metal spatula, lift the cut dough onto greased cookie sheets, placing about 1 inch apart. If desired, make holes for hanging as an ornament.

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes for small cookies and up to about 10 to 12 minutes for the larger ones, or until firm to the touch. Cool the cookies on the sheets for about 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Optional: While cookies are still hot, press raisins, currants, cinnamon red-hots or other  decorative candies as eyes and buttons. Decorations can also be attached, using dots of Royal Icing as glue, after the cookies have cooled. Store in an air tight container.

Makes 19 dozen 2-inch by ¼-inch small cookies or 40 5-inch by 3-inch by ¼-inch large cookies

Royal Icing:
3 large egg whites
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar

Beat on high for 5-7 minutes.

(Excerpted from The Cookie Party Cookbook by Robin L. Olson. Copyright © 2010 by the author and reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.)




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