Thursday, November 24, 2011

Famjam: Gillian's 'Best' Gingerbread Cookies

My wife makes the best gingerbread cookies. As the legend goes, one day she googled 'best gingerbread cookies' and ever since then, anyone who has tried these cookies has asked for the recipe. I just tried this and it is in the top 20 of gingerbread cookies though I think they are in no particular order.

The new school that I'm teaching at has a pretty great group of teachers and they do a 'Friday treats' where a teacher will bring in delicious things on Friday to be shared with everyone. This week I signed up and brought these cookies. I ended up giving some to my classes too because back around Hallowe'en the younger groups complained that I had not brought any candy. I replied "Well, I figured that it would make more sense to get you candy the day after Hallowe'en cause it'd be chea- wait, no, candy isn't good for you. Maybe I'll bake you cookies sometime."  Great logic there, Mr. Chung.
A couple days ago, my class of little grade 7 science students piped up and asked me when the cookies were coming. They can remember the passing mention of cookies from a month ago but can't remember that sublimation is a phase transition from the solid state to a gaseous state? 
Happy cookie is happy. It was decorated by our friend Lil.
McCormick Gingerbread Cookies 
Original link here from allrecipes.com
Ingredients 
3 cups flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation
1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. We flatten it on a plate. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. We found it to be more like 7 minutes in our oven, lest they burnt on the bottom. Cool on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Decorate as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

So I killed a few birds with a double batch of gingerbread. The sugar from the cookies fueled the teachers for a long day of school, my students insatiable appetite for sugar was only made greater by letting them each have a single cookie, we're bringing some to a holiday dinner for the gracious hosts and of course general cookie dispersion for friends and family.

Gillian helped make the cookies. She mixed the dry ingredients so I didn't really notice what was going in. This became a problem when I was writing an ingredient list at school for allergy reasons. A teacher asked if there was cinnamon int them and I had no idea.

 Our friend Lil came over to do some decorating with her cookie art skills. I did actually decorate a couple, giving a tree a little smiley face. It then reminded me that as I left school the day before, I noticed one of my students had looked a little bummed out. His nickname for himself is 'King', so I added a crown on the top of the tree. He requested a picture. The iPad is such a useful teaching tool.

Me and the 'King'.
I guess there was cinnamon in them after all...