Friday, December 5, 2008

Crisp Ginger Cookies

This is how we make gingerbread men around here. It makes a crispy (as opposed to the softer gingerbread men most people make), wonderful cookie that can stand alone or be iced if you like. I also double this recipe.

1/3 C molasses
1/4 C shortening
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 1/4 C all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
dash of ground nutmeg
dash of ground allspice

Mix molasses, shortening & brown sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover & refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick or paper thin on floured, cloth-covered board. Cut with floured cookie cutter. Place 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until light brown, 1/8 inch thick cookies about 8 minutes, paper-thin cookies about 5 minutes.

Immediately remove from cookie sheet & cool. Frost if desired.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen 1/8 inch thick cookies.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Old Fashioned Pfefferneuse (Peppernuts)

1/2 C. Butter
3/4 C. granulated Sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. sweet (or heavy) cream
2 Tbsp. Honey
1/3 cup white corn syrup
1 tsp. oil of anise
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
4 C. flour

  1. Cream together butter & sugar until fluffy

  2. Add egg, beat well

  3. Add other liquids

  4. sift dry ingredients with spices & flour. Add half the amount of flour, missing well, add remaining four & knead thoroughly.

  5. Store dough in tightly covered container in the refrigerator for one hour or longer. This helps the dough to season & the spices to blend. (The longer it can set the better. I try to let it rest for at least 2 weeks sealed in a gallon sized Zip-loc bag.)

  6. Roll dough into thin ropes & slice with a sharp knife dipped in flour or cold water. Pieces should be about the size of a hazel nut.

  7. Place pieces separately on a greased baking sheet.

  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes

This will make quite a few Peppernuts. I keep a big bowl of them setting on the counter when we have company.

*Updated 12/16 with picture. I just baked up all my dough & thought I'd post a picture of some of the results. I didn't have enough honey on hand when I made the dough, so I substituted 1 Tbsp molasses for 1 Tbsp honey. I'm very happy with the results. I think in all this made around 300 or more nickle sized cookies. But be warned, you will eat these by the handful & they are addictive!