It's been a while since I last added any content to my little bubble of cyberspace here, but I have not forgotten my poor little collection of goodies here. Although the photos might leave something to be desired these days, I am still creating in the kitchen every chance I get.
This latest creation came as a fun little experiment. A mate of mine sells Avon, and in the Christmas catalogue, there were kitchen goodies. Normally, I don't buy much Avon...I have been using the same cosmetics and skin care line since I was...well, it's been 22 years and I still don't have wrinkles yet! Anyway, in this catalogue there were star shaped cookie cutters...okay, nothing so grand about that...but wait, there's more. The sizes ranged from very small to almost dinner plate sized and the photo in the book was quite impressive. You basically make 2 sets of each size gingerbread cookie and stack them into a tree shape. The icing helps to hold the stack together, and I bought little shiny sugar ball decorations to emulate Christmas bobbles.
If you really want to try this though, bake the cookies the day before, and ice them the next day. Allow them to begin to set before stacking and you should get good results.
So...here is a basic gingerbread recipe with a solid drying icing to decorate with.
425 Gm Plain Flour
2 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tbsp Ground Ginger
1 ½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Salt
125 Gm Unsalted Butter
155 Gm Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ Tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract
1 Large Egg
125 Gm Dark Molasses
Preheat oven to 180° C / 350° F.
In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.
Add vanilla and eggs and mix well until smooth.
Blend in the molasses and mix well.
Slowly add the flour and spice mixture about ½ to 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated.
Press the dough into a mound and wrap in plastic wrap to store it in the fridge for 2 hours.
Remove from the fridge and roll out flat (about 3-4 mm thick) and cut shapes to bake about 8-10 minutes.
Cool cookies on a rack and ice when cool.
SIMPLE ICING FOR GINGERBREAD:
Beat 3 Egg Whites with 1 Tsp of Cream of Tartar and 500 Gms (1 Lb) of Icing Sugar / Confectioners Sugar until very stiff. OPTIONAL - Powdered food colouring is best, but liquid can also work.