Ugly Sweater Gingerbread Ornaments

When I saw this adorable tweet by Donna, owner of pot + pantry, an equally adorable kitchen boutique in the Mission, I was instantly in the Christmas spirit and inspired to make a whole clan of gingerbread men.

The whole lot in ugly Christmas sweaters!

If you’re not one for details, this may not be an ideal project.  Each sprinkle was applied one by one with royal icing.  It took about five hours on a cold Saturday afternoon, which to me was therapeutic and relaxing.

This was my first attempt at making cookie ornaments and I didn’t think to use a dough that was more suitable for longevity on a tree.  If you use the recipe below, the cookie will become soft if hung without packaging.  So better to eat it!

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe from Patti Paige
via the blog Of Cats and Cardstock

Makes 25 gingerbread men or women

Ingredients:
10.5 tablespoon unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2.5 tablespoons)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup dark molasses
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:
1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add spices, salt, egg, and molasses and beat well. Sift together flour, soda, and baking powder; add to butter mixture and beat again. (I use a stand mixer for this step…it’s a very stiff dough.)

2. Chill dough for several hours. (This is important…it rolls best if it is well chilled. I bake a few cookies at a time and re-chill the dough before rolling out each batch.)

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

 

My recipe notes:

  • Make sure to chill the dough. I split the dough into two discs and flattened really thin to speed up the chilling time.  It is so easy to roll out.  Also, you can re-roll the scraps several times. I always worry that the cookies will be tough when I do that, but there was no difference.  Every batch was just as good as the first rolled.
  • This recipe makes great tasting cookies.  The molasses is prominent so if you are not a fan, I would cut down a little bit.
  • I baked my cookies on William-Sonoma’s non stick gold touch sheet pan and after 10 minutes they were still soft, so keep that in mind when using a light colored pan.  I needed more in the 15-18 minute range to get nice crisp cookies, but make sure to keep an eye on them.  I had a few blackened gingerbread men.

 

Supplies

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