Tuesday, December 2, 2014
These Gingerbread Hearts are the perfect cookie decorating project for those who want to make cookies but want to start with something simple.
They come together quickly and the bonus is that baking them will make your house smell amazing and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
I made them using my favorite Gingerbread cookie recipe. The resulting cookies are soft and very gingery.
Use a small heart cutter to make them and then decorate them by just outlining and filling the cookies using medium consistency royal icing and a #2 tip. When I outline and fill small areas, I always use a thicker icing so that it's easier to control on the cookie. Aim for the consistency of yogurt. It isn't runny but is soft enough to not leave peaks and settles into place.
After filling the cookies you may need to use a skewer to scribe tool to move the icing and fill in all of the spaces. Give the cookie a gently shake to help the icing settle and that's it. Let the cookies dry completely before serving or packaging.
Here are the recipes:
Gingerbread Cookie Dough
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. With cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 10 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Food coloring, optional
In a large bowl combine meringue powder, water and lemon juice and stir until meringue powder is dissolved. Add powdered sugar and with an electric mixer on low speed, beat until evenly moistened. Then beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Divide and tint as desired and add water a few drops at a time to get desired consistency.