I hope that all of you had a beautiful Christmas Day and continue to have a blessed Christmas season! (we’re only on day two!) We had a lot of great family time starting last Saturday and it has been so fun experiencing Clare’s first Christmas. She, like most little ones, got lots of fun toys and cute clothes, but was most intrigued by the paper, bows, and boxes. She was also a complete angel at Christmas eve mass, which was a huge gift for mom and dad!
I made a batch of my favorite gingerbread cookies for the holidays and wanted to share my go-to recipe. I got it from Bake at 350, one of my favorite cookie blogs. The cookies are crisp enough to easily decorate (whether for gingerbread men or houses) but are still soft enough on the inside for my liking. I’m a soft cookie fan for sure!
When making any kind of cut out cookies, I use bake even strips to get a consistent thickness. My set has strips that are 1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, and 1/4 inch. They can also be used for rolling pie dough, fondant, or anything you want to have a perfect level thickness. You just put the strips on either side of the dough, roll with a rolling pin until the dough is even with the strip, then cut and transfer the cookies as usual. It’s so easy and makes for some (more) perfect looking cookies. I mean, if you care about that sort of thing!
I have another set of “perfection strips” to give away to one lucky person! It will end at midnight (Texas time) on 12/31/14. Here are the rules: For one entry, leave a comment and tell me what is your favorite kind of Christmas cookie or dessert. For additional entries: Follow/subscribe to Vita Dulcis (on the main blog page – top right side) and leave me a separate comment saying that you have. Follow me on Facebook and leave a separate comment saying that you have. Follow me on Instagram and leave a separate comment saying that you have. Good luck!! And here’s the awesome gingerbread recipe you’ve been patiently awaiting.
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup molasses
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Yield: About 2 dozen (depends on the size of the cookie)
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Stir together the water and baking soda until it’s dissolved. Stir in the molasses and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and combined. Whisk together the flour, salt, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the molasses mixture. (Begin and end with the flour) Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a floured cookie cutter and place on baking sheet. Freeze for 5 minutes before baking. (Optional – they are going to spread a little) Bake for 12 minutes (for a large shape). Cool for a minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating if wanted.
Source: Bake at 350