Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies; A Twist of Orange Sandwiched with Orange Frosting

Gingerbread cookies have numerous variations for spices and many times the flavor is not what the baker is hoping for. Alex Guarnaschelli (part of the Food Network gang) shared a family recipe giving a fun, fresh and flavorful twist to an old friend. If you find yourself with a little extra time for pulling out the cookie cutters, this recipe will be well worth the effort. Delicious flavor with a fresh orange frosting filling makes for a must-share Christmas cookie.
Christmas Gingerbread Cookies; A Twist of Orange Sandwiched with Orange Frosting
Ingredients~
The foundation:
1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 orange, zested
The dry ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
The wet ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 lemon, juiced
Orange Frosting, recipe follows
Directions~
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
**Use Parchment Paper on Cookie Sheets.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a parchment paper lined baking sheet or pre-greased baking sheet (silipat works great too). Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet. A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays. Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
Orange Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
Directions~
In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. If too thick in consistency, add a touch more orange juice or water to thin out.
Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the frosting between 2 of the gingerbread cookies. Press the 2 cookies halves gently together.

3 comments:

Anncoo said...

This is so cute and especially yummy with the orange frosting.

Sonia said...

I guess the orange frosting make this gingerbread cookies look special and nice. I have bought a gingerman cookie cutter but have yet to bake, kids doesn't like ginger and cinnamon, so I dont know what cookie shall I make for this gingerman cookie cutter.

Shandy said...

Anncoo, Thank you. The orange frosting really makes this cookie stand out.

Sonia, the ginger and cinnamon do not stand out as much as the orange flavor because of all the grated orange peel and added orange juice. Maybe your children might like this version?