Tastemaker: 4 Deliciously Fun Gingerbread Recipes

Happy holidays, everyone! To celebrate we got together with one of our favorite food bloggers, Ali, and put together 4 of our favorite gingerbread recipes from her blog, Gimmesomeoven.com. From breakfast to playtime, she knows exactly how to bring the holiday spirit to the table (literally). Do you love gingerbread as much as we do?

Gingerbread Scrabble Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

Method:

Heat oven to 350F.

Prepare the gingerbread cookie dough.  Once it is ready, place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. (Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies if needed.)

Using a knife or a pizza cutter, carefully cut the dough to make a grid of Scrabble tiles.  You can be as precise about this as you would like.  (Mine were not that precise!)  Actual Scrabble tiles measure 2 cm x 1.5 cm, so if you want to be exact, I would size them 1/2 cm smaller, knowing that they will expand slightly when cooked.  In American Scrabble, there are traditionally 100 tiles.  See the tip below for the letter and points distribution.

Once you have your desired amount of “tiles”, lay them out on a cookie sheet at least 1″ apart, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Prepare your Royal icing according to directions, and carefully make a strong border around the outside of each tile.  Then fill with the slighly diluted icing.  Use an edible marker to write a letter and point value on each “tile”.

Ali’s Tip:

Apparently Scrabble has different configurations with letters and point values in different countries.  But these are the letter distributions and point values for “American Scrabble”.  (The tiny “×12” numbers represent how many tiles there are of that specific letter.)

  • 2 blank tiles (scoring 0 points)
  • 1 pointE ×12A ×9I ×9O ×8N ×6R ×6T ×6L ×4S ×4U ×4
  • 2 pointsD ×4G ×3
  • 3 pointsB ×2C ×2M ×2P ×2
  • 4 pointsF ×2H ×2V ×2W ×2Y ×2
  • 5 pointsK ×1
  • 8 pointsJ ×1X ×1
  • 10 pointsQ ×1Z ×1

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • optional: red hots, sprinkles, icing

Method:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.

Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes. Press candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for “buttons”.

Transfer to ungreased baking sheets.  Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

This yielded at least 45 cookies (about 3-4″ long) for me.

Ali’s Tip:

If your cookie cutters are sticking, just dip the edges in a little flour before cutting out your cookies.

Gingerbread Pancakes Recipe
(Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures & Gingerbread)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour (white or regular)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • maple syrup, for serving (optional)

Method:

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and orange zest.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl melt 3 tablespoons of the butter.  Let cool a bit then whisk in the milk, egg and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined (some lumps are fine).  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

***If you want to make all of the pancakes before serving, preheat oven to 200 F.  Place a baking sheet lined with foil on the middle rack.***

Using the remaining butter, heat about 1 teaspoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1/4 cup of batter to the pan for each pancake (you can probably make 2 at a time if your pan is large enough).  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and they begin to brown just a bit around the edges, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes more.  Move the pancakes to the warm oven (if you need to stack the pancakes on the baking sheet, do so between layers of parchment paper).  Wipe the pan with a paper towel, melt another teaspoon of butter and repeat the cooking process.

Makes about fourteen 4-inch pancakes

Ali’s Tip:

To cut down on butter, you can also just use cooking spray to cover the skillet before cooking the pancakes.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 (8 Tbsp.) stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 12 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (2 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfered
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Method:

To Make Gingerbread Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a medium bowl.

Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and molasses in a large bowl until blended. Add some of the water to batter then some of the dry ingredients to the batter. Continue alternating with the water and flour until everything is added and smooth.

Fill each paper liner with 1/3 cup of the batter, about 1/4-inch below the top of the liner.

Place into preheated oven and bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.  Frost with molasses cream cheese frosting.

To Make Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 1 minute.  Mix in the molasses and vanilla extract.  Gradually add in powdered sugar to reach desired frosting thickness, beating until smooth.

Ali’s Tip:

These would also be good with crystallized ginger mixed in!  Just substitute 1/3 cup crystallized ginger in place of the ground ginger in the cupcakes.

~ by bebe on December 24, 2011.

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