When she got here, the dough was already resting in the fridge, so our "Friday Night Activity," cutting out shapes with butter knives (I don't have any cookie cutters... something I think I should change), was all set up for us ahead of time. We ate too-rich-for-me bolognese (read: I am not a real meat eater and never will be one) and watched Heathers. I felt like a good wholesome teenager!
I wasn't going to blog about these because really I didn't make the recipe up or do anything insanely adventurous. But then I realized I can't stop eating them and they're freaking perfect. So here they are. With one added special ingredient that I think was appreciated by all who tried them: Love. Just kidding. It's cayenne. The secret ingredient is cayenne.
Gingerbread cookies with Royal Icing
adapted from know-it-all sources like Martha, and Joy of Baking, and even this one, that I love to hate
2 c unbleached flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
2 t ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t grated nutmeg
1 t ground cloves
1/2 t cayenne
1/4 t salt
1 stick softened unsalted butter
1/4 c nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 c turbinado or brown sugar
2/3 c molasses
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, shortening, and sugar. When light and fluffy, add molasses and egg. Mix until combined, then in thirds, add the dry mixture. Turn off mixer, and divide dough into two portions, patting each into a disc, and wrapping in plastic. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Or you can freeze one disc, as I did, so you have it on hand in the future when you crave these.
When ready, roll out one disc of dough at a time to 1/4" thick. Cut out into desired shapes and place on parchment paper lined sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. Cool on a rack and frost with royal icing if desired (recipe below).
1 egg white
1 1/2 c confectioners sugar
1 T lemon juice
In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat egg white until stiff. Add sugar and juice and continue to mix. That's it!