I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. My husband and I would normally be in California with his family for Christmas, but like most people around the world we had to stay home and quietly celebrate this year. But still, we were grateful for the fact that our loved ones are safe and sound. We switched our usual roll for this Christmas; he made savory main course and I made dessert. For the first time, I decorated my baked goods with a piping/pastry bag. I was so clueless that I didn’t even know how to fix the tip and coupler into a bag (I don’t know where I got the idea of doing Christmas cookies in the first place). But all and all they came out alright. And most importantly, I had so much fun doing it 🙂 This is definitely a new hobby that I will stick to for a long time. It was also a success taste wise. Although I really struggled to mix the sticky thick dough with molasses by hand (I don’t have a stand-up mixer), I’d consider that a good upper body exercise before the enormous Christmas feast we had.
The base of my recipe is Joanne Chang’s ginger molasses cookies from her book flour. This recipe makes very soft chewy cookies, so I added some more dry ingredients to make the dough less wet and easy to roll out. I was slightly nervous about it, but the cookies came out beautifully. They were just dry enough to be rolled and cut, but still moist and soft when baked. I also made her original ginger molasses cookies and they were absolutely delicious. I used 1/4 cup less sugar just in case I wanted to put icing on them, which I didn’t end up doing much since my other batch of cookies were more than enough for two people. Even with less sugar, they tasted amazing. For decoration, I used royal icing, red and green cookie icing. I got a little creative in the end and made pink one myself with a bit of red and white icing. I’m so glad I did that, the pink really makes the photo pop :-). My cookies are by no means perfect, there are lots of small flaws here and there. But considering this was my first time, I think I deserve a big pat on the back. I’ll do better next time.
- 3/4 cup/170g. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to touch
- 1 cup/220g. packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup/80g. unsulphured dark molasses
- 1 egg
- 3 cups/420g. unbleached all – purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Royal icing for decoration
Mix butter, sugar, molasses and egg in a bowl until well combined.
Sift flour, baking soda into a different bowl. Mix in ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
Combine flour mixture and butter-sugar mixture until the dough is evenly mixed and totally incorporated.
Flatten the dough a little, cover with a cling film and chill it in the fridge overnight.
When it’s ready for baking, pre heat oven to 176C/350F.
Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch(0.7cm) thickness and cut cookies into shapes you want. I used a coffee cup for circles and a metal mold for hearts.
Bake for 7-9minutes, you may need more or less baking time depending on the size of your cookies. Mines were mostly 3.5-4 inch (9-10cm) wide.
Let them cool for about an hour and decorate.