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.
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
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.
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.
Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events
Recipe: Pastry Chef Kim Collishaw
Photo: Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm