My husband has a saying ... "Stick with what you know". So today, when I had planned and baked ahead and was all ready to post about making gingerbread houses, things started falling apart, and this saying haunted me.
I made my gingerbread last night and left it to chill in the fridge overnight. This afternoon I got it out and assembled everything to begin cutting out the cookies.
Most of them I've had for many years. The large tin gingerbread man cutter was the first cookie cutter I bought after I was married ...
I rolled out the dough, and cut out the shapes. So far ... so good!
I've made this recipe for about 25 years now, and I never have trouble with it. I've made the Royal Icing before too ... many times ... but I've never tried to cut the recipe in half. And that's where things went wrong today.
I cut the recipe in half, but what do you do when the original recipe calls for 3 egg whites? I put 2 egg whites in half the mixture, and after beating it for the required 10 minutes, it still did not become stiff. So I added more icing sugar ... no luck. I tried putting the pieces of the gingerbread house together anyway ...
But half an hour later, it still wasn't set. It might set eventually, but not in time for today's post. And I wanted to post today because it's Tea Party Tuesday with Sarah. While I stood there with the beater's whirring away for over 20 mintues(!!), all I could hear in the back of my mind was my husband saying "Stick with what you know". When I'm rushed and feeling a little under pressure, I really shouldn't try something new. It almost always flies back in my face.
At least the cookies turned out well, and my family will enjoy eating them. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try them yourself.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup light molasses
2 tbsp rum or water
Stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.
In another large mixing bowl beat butter 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until fluffy.
Combine molasses and rum.
Add flour and molasses mixtures alternately to beaten mixture; beat well. Divide dough in half, flatten into thick disc. Cover and chill several hours.
On a floured surface (or use icing sugar instead of flour ... thanks for this tip Kathy!), roll dough, half at a time, to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut out with a 4 to 5-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter ... or ...
Cut into house shapes as follows:
- two side walls
- one front wall with peaked roofline
- one back wall with peaked roofline
- two slabs for each side of roof
Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in 375F oven about 8 minutes or till set and slightly darker around edges. Remove from oven, and while cookies are still warm, take a sharp knife and trim up any edges that may have become misshapen. Cool cookies 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove to rack; cool completely.
(Dries Rock Hard)
4 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 egg whites
Sift icing sugar and cream of tartar into bowl. Using electric mixer, be in egg whites. Beat for 7 to 10 minutes until thick enough to hold its shape.
Makes 2-1/2 cups
*NOTE: I make up a paper pattern for my gingerbread house first so that I know the pieces will fit together well when cut out. Roll the dough out on waxed paper. Lay the paper pattern on the rolled out cookie dough, and cut around the shapes with a sharp knife. Transfer the cookies with the wax paper, and carefully remove the waxed paper before baking.
Thanks for stopping by!
Kathy of Kathyinozarks is having a wonderful Christmas Basket Giveaway on her blog. She has some amazing handmade gifts from both her own studio and three of her creative friends. Be sure to check it out ... you could be the lucky winner of these gifts from all four contributors!
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