Gingerbread Cookies

It’s almost that time of year again! For a while I’ve been craving a good, soft, homemade gingerbread cookie with that delicious icing and gumdrop buttons. The following is what happens when I have a day off, a great Pinterest find, and cool weather outside.

Gingerbread Cookies
Bake time: 8 minutes per batch
Bake temp: 350F
Yields: 2 dozen cookies

Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar (golden, packed)
10 Tbsp soft butter or margarine
1 large egg yolk (save the egg white for the icing)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses (fancy, not blackstrap)*
2 Tbsp milk (rice milk for dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together dry ingredients, flour through salt, and set aside. In a mixer with paddle attachment, beat together brown sugar and butter (or margarine). Add egg yolk and vanilla extract. Add molasses and milk, mix until combined.

Set the mixer on low speed, and add dry ingredient mixture slowly until fully incorporated.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions, and roll each portion between sheets of parchment paper until 1/4″ thick (no thinner*!). Cut shapes with cookie cutter, but don’t move them yet – place dough on parchment paper onto a cookie sheet or other large flat surface, and chill in freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove excess dough and transfer cookies to cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper). Bake for 8 minutes at 350F. Cookies should be soft and stay indented when touched. Let cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack. When cool, decorate with icing and gumdrops, sprinkles, etc.

Notes:
*Pour a small amount of canola oil into liquid measuring cup and swirl around to coat before pouring molasses – this is a great trick I’m sure many grandmothers have handed down. Doing this means your molasses won’t stick to the measuring cup.
**Seriously, I went too thin on one batch and burnt them at the same time and temperature as the others. If anything, go thicker and add 1-2 minutes to the bake time. And don’t skimp on the time cooling on the pan either. Or in the freezer.

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Icing
1 egg white
1 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
1/4 tsp lemon juice

Beat egg whites on high in mixer until frothy; add lemon juice and icing sugar, and beat until thick on high.

Transfer to piping bag or Ziploc bag with tip cut off for decorating. Add food colouring if desired.

Use to decorate fully cooled gingerbread cookies. Add gumdrops, sprinkles, etc. to decorate. (This is the icing that hardens and is great for gingerbread houses and such. Don’t make it until you’re ready to decorate.)

 

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Original cookie recipe here, and original Royal Icing recipe here.

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Glazed Lemon Cookies

My friend Janelle made these cookies last year at our Christmas baking day, and this year I decided to make them myself, as I love lemon. These cookies are really easy to throw together and are sure to be a crowd pleaser! Enjoy and happy baking!

Glazed Lemon Cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake temp: 350 F
Bake time: 15 to 20 minutes, until golden around edges
Yields 24 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest (approx. 1 lemon)
2 tbsp lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat until combined. Beat in flour mixture on low until combined.

Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet, approx. 1″ apart. Bake approx. 15 to 20 minutes until edges are golden. Transfer to cooling rack.

 

While cookies are cooling, prepare glaze:

2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a bowl, and drizzle over cooled cookies. (I strongly recommend laying wax paper underneath the cookies while you drizzle.) Allow glaze to set, approx. 1 hour to 1 and a half hours. Then try not to eat them all in one sitting.

 

Original found here.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

My favourite thing to do around Christmas is bake, and I love baking sugar cookies because of all the fun you get to have decorating them when they’re cool! This is the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve come across so far, and it turns out perfect every time! Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Sugar Cookies
Prep time: 2 hours
Bake temp: 375F
Bake time: 7 minutes per batch
Yields 36 to 48 cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp milk (use rice milk to make dairy-free)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Using an electric mixer, beat butter (or margarine) and sugar. Add baking powder and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can using the electric mixer, and mix in the rest with a wooden spoon or your hands. Divide dough in half, roll in large balls, and chill (covered) for two hours.

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease two cookie sheets lightly (unless you have non-stick ones).

On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the balls of dough to 1/4″ thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheet about 1″ apart. Bake each batch for approx. 7 minutes. Cookies should not brown, but will be slightly golden brown on the bottom. Transfer to cooling rack.

You can decorate the cookies once they are fully cool – I usually let mine cool overnight just to be sure they are fully cool. Too warm and the icing will melt off the cookies and make a mess.

Enjoy!

This recipe comes from a Christmas cookie magazine from Better Homes & Gardens.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, aka Erin’s Go To Cookie

This has got to be one of my favourite cookies. It comes from a cookbook called The Happy Baker, which is full of delicious recipes and funny stories about dating and heartbreak. This cookie recipe combines my three favourite cookies – peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate chip. And there’s coconut! I hope these become your Go To cookie as well as mine. 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, aka Erin’s Go To Cookie
Bake temp: 375F
Bake time: 10-12 minutes

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, soft
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

In a large bowl, combine sugars and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter, vanilla, and egg; mix well. Stir in flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt. Add chocolate chips and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined cookie sheet, approx. 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with fingers. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 375F until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks. Enjoy, and try not to eat them all at once!

The original recipe can be found on page 56 of The Happy Baker: A Dater’s Guide to Emotional Baking by Erin Bolger. 

Carnivore Cookies

I just made cookies awesome enough to inspire my boyfriend to brag about them to the internet (HI REDDIT!), so I decided to share the recipe.

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Carnivore Cookies

Inspired by this recipe.

  • 1 1/4 c flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if making them gluten free)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne (this turned out not even noticeable – I would bump it to 1/8 tsp next time)
  • a couple twists of salt from a salt mill
  • 5 strips bacon (1/3 pound) (It wouldn’t hurt to add an extra 2-3 strips if you like)
  • 2 tbsp of bacon grease, set aside from frying the bacon
  • 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter (I ran a little short but it was fine. Adam’s brand gives a nice rich taste.)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup each chocolate chips and skor bits

Preheat oven to 350, adjust racks to centre.

Fry the bacon until barely crispy (it won’t cook much when it’s in the oven in the cookies), then set aside to cool. Save 2 tbsp grease.

Combine all ingredients on the list from flour to salt (inclusive) in a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside.

Pick apart the bacon with a knife or hands to a maximum of 1/2cm squared. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the bacon grease until combined. Add peanut butter, blend until creamy.

Add the sugars. Blend until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Blend again!

When all combined, add the flour mixture/dry ingredients in two or three portions at a time, and blend on low to combine.

Put electric mixer aside. Use a wooden spoon to “knead”/incorporate the bacon, chocolate chips, and skor bits.

Drop cookies onto a greased or parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, and shape edges with fingers. Press with a fork.

Bake for 12-14 minutes (mine took exactly 12:30 for a golden brown bottom, without drying out. But that said, my oven is super temperamental and none too accurate compared to others).

Cool 2 minutes on a pan and cool on a rack after.

EAT THEM! LOVE THEM! Tell vegans what they are missing out on, etc. 🙂

Before they get put in the oven.

Before they get put in the oven.

Finished product!

Finished product!

Homemade Oreos!

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Aren’t they delicious looking?

Chocolate oreo cookies, courtesy of Bakerella.

The original recipe can be found on her website as per the URL above. Here is my gluten-free adaptation!

COOKIES

  • Flour (sift then whisk together before adding to rest of recipe)
    • 1 cup Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
    • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (white rice flour works too, it’s just what I had on hand)
    • 1 1/2 tsp xantham gum (you could try 2 tsp as mine “melted” in the bake tray a bit more than I’d like)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or equivalent volume of baking chocolate
  • 1 egg (substitute with 1/4 cup milk and 1 tsp each baking soda and veggie oil if vegan. Stir these together in a cup first before adding to rest of recipe)

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, put sugar.

At the same time, in two small sauce pans, melt the butter and the chocolate chips on low heat. I added some water (1-2tbsp) to the chocolate chips so they melted a bit smoother. Adding the same amount of butter helps as well but I figured there was probably enough butter in the recipe to begin with. Supervise the chocolate chips carefully as they burn easily. Double boilers are advisable if you have one (I don’t).

Add the butter to the sugar, whisking to combine. Add the vanilla and whisk again.

Add the chocolate and the egg. Whisk whisk whisk. You should have a warm brown syrupy type mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix using hands if necessary.

Take the dough, divide it into two chunks, then roll each chunk into a log shape on some wax paper. It may help to refrigerate it for about an hour (maximum or it turns to a cold rock! Found out by accident…) before you try to divide it if the dough is super sticky. When you have your log shape, wrap it in the wax paper like a candy (twist the ends) and then fridge it for at least two hours.

Wait wait wait.

Then take it out and slice it into 1/4″ thick circles and bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks before icing. Adjust cooking time if needed after the first batch.

ICING (feel free to double; this made enough for about 2/3 of my chocolate cookies)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (crisco works if you’re trying the vegan thing)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk (I used almond milk, any milk or milk alternative will do)
  • Food colouring (optional)

Using an electric hand or stand mixer and a small mixing bowl:

Cream the butter.

Add vanilla and mix into the butter.

Add the icing sugar about 1/2 cup at a time to avoid sending dust everywhere. Mix mix mix. It will seem chunky then smooth out again after you mix it thoroughly.

Add the milk and mix it in. Taste to make sure you didn’t mess up (this is my favourite part).

Add food colouring if you’d like! I used the blue and purple that I used in my rainbow cupcakes.

Now add about a tbsp of icing per cookie and make a sandwich! Om nom nom nom.

ENJOY!