Friday, January 3, 2014

Gingerbread cookies

As a kid I never liked ginger cookies (I think everyone says this heh). For the life of me I don't know WHY I ever decided to bake any (maybe I wanted to do a house but chickened out), but I did for my 2012 christmas cake party, and they were such a hit, even with me, that I have made them a bit of a tradition now. The recipe is from the lovely Annie, of course duly tweaked by yours truly.

Once these cookies were made I had to make a deal with my flatmate that if any fell on the floor he could have them, and then hide the box until the party to keep him out of them. He for his part kept putting the plates of cooling cookies on the floor saying look look they're on the floor they're MINE!

This makes 3-4 dozen Annie says, and I didn't count but I'd say around 40-50 cookies. It does depend on how thin you roll them!

4 cups all-purpose flour
1½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1½ t ground cloves
2 t ground ginger (I use fresh, so like a chunk the size of the first 2 joints of my first two fingers that I then grated)
225g salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup golden syrup/treacle/molasses
1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In another big bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. IT does not look like dough. I actually abandoned the mixer and went in with my hands. It was sort of all stuck together by sheer force of will in the bowl and kept crumbling when I tried to form a ball. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Always do this for cookies, especially with tiny OTG like mine where you'll be doing something like 6 batches. Cut two sets of paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookie shapes on one set of paper and transfer carefully to the sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn and mine ahem obviously have. While this is going on, cut your next set of cookies and lay out on next set of paper. Once cookies are done, remove from the oven and pick the whole paper up with the cookies in it and dump in a plate to cool while you put the next batch onto the baking tray using same method. Once cooled store in airtight box.

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