Friday, December 07, 2007

Gingerbread Snowflakes (Page 680)

  • Date: Thursday, December 6, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Chris, Cornelia, Kelly, Michelle, Becky, Mike M, Teresa, Paul K, Beth, Lauren K, Jeremy, Ayelet, Michael L, Ann, Daniel L, Kent, Sue, Allan, Ann E, Jim, Marcia, Matty, Vladimir, Kitty, Muriel, Marc, and Tricia
  • Recipe Rating: B

I am feeling the Christmas spirit lately, and nothing in The Book seemed more appropriate than these cookies. I don't have a snowflake cookie cutter, so I made gingerbread Christmas trees (and angels, and holly, and men, and stars, and candlesticks....) instead. I would grade the experience of making these as an A+. I had such fun! And they taste fine. The cookies themselves are yummy. They are chewy, with a good gingerbread flavor. The spices are a little mild. If I made this recipe again I would certainly increase the ginger, and probably also most of the other spices. My only complaint is that I don't think the icing goes that well with the cookies. It's pretty, and holds up well, and I understand why from a practical viewpoint you would want to decorate these with royal icing. But, honestly, it just doesn't taste that good with gingerbread. I am a die-hard frosting fan, and I think I actually prefer the unfrosted cookies to the frosted ones. It doesn't speak well for the pairing of cookies with frosting here. Overall, I would recommend the cookie base (especially if you up the spices) but I would go with a different frosting.

Here is the recipe.

True culinary confession: until I made these, I had never in my life made gingerbread cookies. I don't know how that is possible. I have made a lot of cookies. And gingerbread is so classic, so Christmas. But, indeed, this was my first experience. I think maybe my mother doesn't like gingerbread so much, so whenever we made cut-out cookies they were sugar cookies instead. The thing I realized while making these though, is that the taste isn't really what makes gingerbread so delightful. Yeah, they taste pretty good. But it is the experience of making them that is truly wonderful. Gingerbread dough is easy to make, and easy to roll, and easy to work with. It has a rich brown color and a spicy smell. Making these I was overwhelmed with the holiday spirit.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of decorating cookies. I can't explain it -- I am clearly willing to do completely ridiculous things to decorate a cake (see here), but I usually don't find cookies to be a very inspiring medium. I have to admit though, I had fun with these. I found myself humming Christmas carols while I piped little ornaments on the trees and halos on the angels. It was a positive experience.

When I have a family some day, I'm sure we'll make gingerbread cookies every year! Maybe we'll even make a gingerbread house. That's another thing I have never done!

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