Gingerbread Cookies with Holiday Icing
Prep Time: 2 hrs.
Cook Time: 12 mins.
(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Medium
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2-4 Tbsp. 2% (reduced fat) milk
Colored sugar, sprinkles, and/or silver dragees
In a bowl, mix together both flours with baking soda, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cloves and pepper; set aside.
In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy.
Beat in molasses, then the egg. (The mixture may look slightly curdled.)
At slow speed, mix in half the dry ingredients until dough is thick enough to be shaped.
Divide the dough into two. Place each on a sheet of wax paper.
Shape each portion of dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 2 - 24 hrs.
Arrange a rack in the upper and lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease three cookie sheet or cover them with baking parchment.
Using a lightly-floured rolling pin and a well-floured surface, roll out one rectangle of dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
If dough cracks, smooth it together with your fingertips. Working quickly, cut dough into 2 1/2-inch rounds or stars. Place cut-out pieces on one of the prepared baking sheets.
Repeat this process with the second rectangle of dough and baking sheet. (If desired, gather up scraps of dough and press together with hands into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap, set in refrigerator to chill and roll out later to cut out and bake more cookies. There should be enough to bake one more sheet of cookies, for about 12 mins.)
Bake cookies 6 mins.
Reverse position of baking sheets. Bake 4 - 6 mins. or until cookies are barely colored at edges.
Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
Sift confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Mix in vanilla and 2 tsp of the milk.
Add more milk gradually until icing can be spread on cookies and drizzled from a spoon.
Ice cookies and decorate with colored sugar, sprinkles, and dragees.
Yield: 36 cookies
104 calories, 3 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, less than 1 g dietary fiber, 23 mg sodium.
Adapted from recipe by the American Institute for Cancer Research.