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Culinary Capers Gingerbread Cookies

Here is a cookie recipe ideal for preparing with the kids!  Take a gingerbread man cookie cutter and turn it around to make these cute reindeer heads.  Use royal icing, metallic edible glitter and sprinkles to decorate.
Line-thin-340Gingerbread Cookies
Makes 2 dozen (depending on size of cutter)

¾ cup                 blackstrap molasses
¾ cup                 brown sugar
1 Tbsp                ground ginger
1½ tsp                ground cinnamon
½ tsp                  allspice
½ tsp                  ground cloves
2 Tbsp                baking soda
1 cup                  unsalted butter, room temperature
1                         egg
4 cups                all-purpose flour
½ tsp                  salt

Bring molasses, brown sugar and spices to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling remove from heat.

Stir in baking soda (mixture will foam up), then stir in butter a few pieces at a time, letting each addition melt before adding more, until all the butter is melted.

Add egg and stir until combined, then stir in flour and salt.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with flour as needed to prevent sticking, until soft and easy to handle.  Halve the dough and roll out each half to ¼ inch thick.

Cut out with cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Bake cookies for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely then decorate as desired.


Royal Icing
Makes about 2 cups

3¼ cups (or more)      icing sugar (sifted)
2 large                        egg whites
1 tsp                           strained fresh lemon juice
optional:  assorted food colorings

Using an electric mixer, beat icing sugar and egg whites until thick and shiny, adding additional icing sugar by tablespoonfuls if mixture is too thin to spread, about 3 minutes.  Add lemon juice.

Divide icing into portions, if desired, and add different food colouring to each.  Cover until ready to use.

Pastry Chef tip:  For thinner icing for dipping, add a little bit of water, a teaspoon or so at a time to get the desired consistency.  To thicken your icing for piping, sift in more icing sugar until you get the desired thickness.
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Recipe: Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw
Photo: Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm

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