gingerbreadbears01122012Ginger Bread Bears

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Method:

  1. Sift flour, spices, salt and baking soda into a medium sized bowl.
  2. In your stand mixer bowl (or large bowl) cream together butter, light brown sugar, and shortening to smooth consistency. About 1-2 minutes.
  3. Scrape bowl.
  4. Beat in egg, molasses, and vanilla until combined. About 1 minute.
  5. Scrape bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
  6. On the lowest speed setting gradually add the dry mixture to the butter and sugar mixture.
  7. Continue to mix on low speed until the mixture forms a stiff dough.
  8. Divide dough into two balls.
  9. Wrap each ball of dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Once dough has chilled for at least 3 hours it is ready to be rolled out and cut into desired shapes.
  10.  Pre-heat oven to 350.
  11. Using flour to lightly dust the surface of your table or counter top, roll out dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Continue to dust surface with flour when necessary to prevent sticking.  Keep dough chilled by reforming balls and refrigerating for 5 minutes after rolling out and cutting shapes. This will make for a more tender cookie as well as make it easier to roll and cut.
  12. Cut dough into desired shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. In this case I used bears.
  13. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.
  14. Bake cookies on the middle and top racks for 10 minutes, rotating half way through.
  15. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for  2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  16. Decorate using the royal icing recipe below!

frostingbears122012

Royal Icing:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups Powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Meringue powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup water

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the powered sugar and meringue powder for 1 minute.
  2. Add the vanilla and water and mix on low to a smooth consistency.
  3. If it’s too thick, add a tiny amount of water gradually until you reach the desired thickness.
  4. To keep the icing from drying out, cover bowl with a damp cloth.
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