Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gingerbread Ducks

As our sweet baby boy arrived one week before Christmas (on my birthday no less!) there were a few holiday activities that I didn't get around to doing with Lottie. Making gingerbread men was one of them.

After days of telling her "tomorrow we are going to make cookies" and forgetting that I don't have molasses, or need baking soda, I finally got everything together to make these stinking cookies. (Actually, they don't stink, they smell pretty good).

The recipe I used is basically a glorified sugar cookie, with added ginger, cinnamon & cloves. Next time I would add more of somethings, perhaps fresh ginger to make them have more bite in the front, instead of just a mild bite in the back.  I used whole wheat flour cause that's what I have and they still turned out moist. Well, half of them did.

Classic Gingerbread Cookies
Dry Ingredients
3 cups all purpose flour (I used whole grain wheat)
2 tsp ground ginger
1tsp baking soda
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Wet Ingredients
2/3 cup butter softened (Now that I see this measurement I think I only put one stick in?)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
  • Preheat oven 375
  • In separate bowl mix dry ingredients. 
  • In large mixing bowl beat butter 30 seconds. 
  • Add brown sugar & molasses; beat until combined. 
  • Add egg, beat until combined
  • Add flour mixture, beat until just combined
  • divide dough in half, cover and Chill for 3 hours.
  • Roll dough on well floured surface
  • cut into shapes
  • bake @ 375 for 5-6 minutes (Do not put the cookies in then sit down to nurse an infant)
  • cool and place on wire rack
  • Decorate
We mixed the batter in the morning then waited 3 whole hours for the dough to chill. This was the hardest part. Lottie asked me over and over "We make cookies mama?","We decorate cookies?","We make cookies? Now?", "We use sprinkles mama?"

Perhaps I talked up the decorating part too much, but while we waited we made and colored icing. I thought I was pretty ingenious with this part. 1. I didn't want to spend the money on multiple colors of icing from the store. 2. Even though this icing is PURE. SUGAR. its not loaded with a bunch of chemical crap that I can't pronounce. 3. I wanted to give Lottie some fun, arty, mixing colors, fine motor skills, extra mommy time :)

For the powdered sugar icing: 2 cups powder sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2-3 Tablespoons milk. 
I used too much milk. Next time I would stick to just 2 Tablespoons.

I put 2-3 spoonfuls of icing in snack bags. 

3 drops of food coloring. Lottie picked out each color and I convinced her that we would do one color per bag. I know, I know, it would have been way more educational if I let her mix every bag into a lovely shade of "preschool grey" but mama wanted pretty cookies.

After smacking the bag a couple of times and the food coloring going nowhere I showed Lottie how to "tickle" the bag. Then she got the hang of dispersing the color, giggling as she squished.
"teekle teekle teekle hehehe"

 This is what the icing looked like when Lottie declared it done and ran off to play. Mama added a few more drops of food coloring and squished some more. 

This is our end product. Pretty. 
(I used a combination of neon and primary food colors, originally bought to make play dough - I cant wait.)

Then in the late late afternoon, we rolled, and cut.

Then baked.

Oh finally the glory! To Decorate!!
Cut the tip of the corner of the snack bag very small (did I mention, very small tip) and squeeze. Any larger then a smidgen will be to much. I also think thicker icing would make less of a icing puddle. 
See above picture.

Then roll and cut some more.

  Then burn.  Bummer!!

Maybe it was a good thing, because it was 8:30pm and my almost 3 year old had already had a fair share of mini M&M's and royal icing (which is basically straight up powdered sugar). Decorating another 16 cookies would have been the end of us for sure.

Eat and share!

I am pretty proud of those ducks & men. Of course, Lottie's creations are so super cute too.

Happy Decorating!

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