The Perfect Holiday Treat - Grammy's Gingerbread Cookies

 No matter what holiday you celebrate we all have memories of those best Christmas mornings, family gatherings to light the menorah and get gifts, or having a big feast with singing and dancing. Whatever you celebrate this time of year is all about being with your favorite people. It’s about eating good food, overindulging on sweets and hanging with the ones you love.

 

 One of my ALL time most favorite parts of the holidays is baking cookies. You’ve got a chocolate chip, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin, gingerbread cookies, chocolate crinkles, I think you get the point! There are SOO many options and they are all so good!

 

 Some of my most favorite memories are from holiday mornings spent measuring ingredients, eating lots of cookie dough, and cutting out cute little gingerbread men and slathering on layers of icing. The smells that filled the kitchen can never be replicated and anytime I smell molasses or ginger I find myself back as a little girl standing in my kitchen, wearing sticky socks, singing Christmas songs, and overindulging in cookies. It sounds like the ideal way to spend the holidays!

 

 So, what are you waiting for? Grab some friends, make a run to the grocery store, pre-heat the oven and blast some holiday music while you make my Grammy’s famous gingerbread cookies! 

 

Grammy's Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:
・1 cup shortening (I use Crisco) (Substitute with Spectrum shortening for a healthier option)
・1 cup of sugar
・2 cups light molasses
・2 large eggs, beaten (substitute with 2 flax eggs to make vegan)
・2 tsp baking soda
・3 tsp ginger
・3 tsp cinnamon
・7 cups flour (substitute with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour to make this gluten-free *) 
・1/2 tsp salt

 

 Heat in a saucepan on medium heat: shortening, sugar and molasses until shortening is melted. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and let cool (shortening should still be liquid just not hot). When cool, add eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl sift flour with soda, spices, and salt. Mix flour into wet ingredients. The dough will be soft and a little sticky. Drop dough onto tin foil, seal and chill well - at least 2 hours.

 

 "Flour Mixture" I use this mixture when rolling out the cookies to dust the surface so the dough doesn't stick and to dip cookie cutters in so dough releases easily - mix 3 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt.

 

 Sprinkle Flour Mixture onto a work surface. Roll dough out to 1/4" thickness. You can also just use flour only but tends to dry out cookies. Use gingerbread men, ladies, stars, hearts... to cut into shapes. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes for full-size cookies and 6-8 minutes for mini cookies. Edges should be lightly brown - I undercook my cookies so they stay moist. Do not overbake unless you like a crisp, hard cookie.
Move hot cookies onto a cooling rack to cool.

 

Royal Frosting:
・1 bag confectioner's sugar
・1 tbsp. shortening
・Water or milk *(if using milk should refrigerate cookies - can also use meringue powder for stiffer frosting)
・Mix bag of confectioner's sugar with shortening.

 

 Add *milk or water slowly until frosting is creamy but not too thin - frosting needs to be stiff enough so when decorating it will hold the shape. You can also use meringue powder for stiffer frosting that will dry harder) Use food coloring to color frosting if desired. Place frosting in a decorator bag with a star tip. Decorate cooled cookies adding buttons, hair, eyes... Let frosting completely dry before storing cookies in an airtight container (like your Takenaka Bento Box)

*If celiac please check all ingredients contain and/or were not manufactured in a factory with gluten

 

 

 Have the happiest holidays and please share all your favorite holiday traditions and recipes!

 

Warm wishes,

Takenaka