Happy Christmas and Merry New Year

snowflake cookies

All of us at myFudo would like to wish all of you joy and peace! Happy Christmas!

Best Ever Gingerbread Cookies (from Food Network)

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg

Royal Icing (recipe follows)

Directions

1. Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper through a wire sieve into a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make stiff dough. Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. (The dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.)

4. To roll out the cookies, work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. (If the dough has been chilled for longer than 3 hours, it may need a few more minutes.) Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick, being sure that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface (run a long metal spatula or knife under the dough occasionally just to be sure, and dust the surface with more flour, if needed). For softer cookies, roll out slightly thicker. Using cookie cutters cut out the cookies and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets, placing the cookies 1 inch apart. Gently knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies.

5. Bake, switching the positions of the cookies from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely. Decorate with Royal Icing. (The cookies can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, stored in airtight containers at room temperature.)
Royal Icing

1 pound (4 1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons dried egg-white powder
6 tablespoons water

1. Make ahead: The icing can prepared up to 2 days ahead, stored in an airtight container with a moist paper towel pressed directly on the icing surface, and refrigerated.

2. This icing hardens into shiny white lines, and is used for piping decorations on gingerbread people or other cookies. Traditional royal icing uses raw egg whites, but I prefer dried egg-white powder, available at most supermarkets, to avoid any concern about uncooked egg whites.

3. When using a pastry bag, practice your decorating skills before you ice the cookies. Just do a few trial runs to get the feel of the icing and the bag, piping the icing onto aluminum foil or wax paper. If you work quickly, you can use a metal spatula to scrape the test icing back into the batch.

4. Dried egg-white powder is also available by mail order from The Baker’s Catalogue, 1-800-827-6836. Meringue powder, which is dehydrated egg whites with sugar already added, also makes excellent royal icing; just follow the directions on the package. However, the plain unsweetened dried egg whites are more versatile, as they can be used in savory dishes, too. Meringue powder is available from Adventures in Cooking (1-800-305-1114) and The Baker’s Catalogue.

5. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at low speed, beat the confectioners’ sugar, egg-white powder and water until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until very stiff, shiny and thick enough to pipe; 3 to 5 minutes. (The icing can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, stored in an airtight container with a moist paper towel pressed directly on the icing surface, and refrigerated.)

6. To pipe line decorations, use a pastry bag fitted with a tube with a small writing tip about 1/8-inch wide, such as Ateco No. 7; it may be too difficult to squeeze the icing out of smaller tips. If necessary, thin the icing with a little warm water. To fill the pastry bag, fit it with the tube. Fold the top of the bag back to form a cuff and hold it in one hand. (Or, place the bag in a tall glass and fold the top back to form a cuff.) Using a rubber spatula, scoop the icing into the bag. Unfold the cuff and twist the top of the bag closed. Squeeze the icing down to fill the tube. Always practice first on a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil to check the flow and consistency of the icing.

Traditional Royal Icing: Substitute 3 large egg whites for the powder and water.

Snow Flake Cookies

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8 comments

  • December 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm //

    Happy holiday’s to you, too! These cookies AND your holiday menu look amazing! Cheers! :-)

    • December 26, 2011 at 7:34 am //

      Thank you Valentina, have a Happy Christmas.

  • December 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm //

    Thanks for the nice Christmas wishes. I know this coming year will be better than this one too. I look forward to our continued friendship & welcome any posts on Cooking Up a Storm All Over The World!

    Polly Motzko

    • December 26, 2011 at 7:34 am //

      Thank you Polly, Happy Christmas!

  • December 26, 2011 at 5:49 am //

    Merry Christmas to you! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend filled with quality time with the ones you love and delicious food of course :)! your cookies are lovely!

    • December 26, 2011 at 7:33 am //

      Thank you Amy, Happy Christmas!

    • December 27, 2011 at 7:28 am //

      Thank you so much Amy!

  • August 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm //

    4f1Rod I agree about these banks and these bogus bailouts given to coenpaims that dont know how to run a business. Why reward failure? Its not like anybody did anything to them to make them sink the ship. They did it to themselves, with corporate greed, union greed, putting out a product that they knew was inferior because nobody cared about quality, just sucking out more money. So why does our government pay them billions for that kind of behavior? Its so wrong. Its just so wrong. They will be right back sinking again, because they allready are wanting to write bonuses and the unions are allready wanting more of the money. Throwing good money after bad. What a shame. But the dems had to make sure they bought some future votes didnt they? I mean look at all the votes they have been buying for this health care thing? Its fricking criminal. If some corporation did crap like this, theyd all be in jail. Its just criminal, but you know, you get what you pay for. When America put a criminal from Illinois in the White House, and he assembled his Chicago thugs around him, did you all really think it would be any different? Come on man. Gotta help a brother out. Its criminal, thats all I can say. Just plain criminal.