Kim had purchased Gingerbread House kits...and to make things more manageable, she decided to put them together with a hot glue gun before the kids arrived.
But, that means the houses are pretty much inedible (which is almost always true, anyway). So, I thought it would be fun for the kids to roll out some gingerbread, and make cookies they could frost (and eat). Also, there would be that wonderful aroma of Gingerbread baking in the oven...
So, the night before the party, I searched the internet and chose this recipe. Because it doesn't have any baking powder or baking soda -- the cookies are crisp rather than cakey. Perfect...
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
6 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cups Margarine Or Softened Butter
1-1/2 cup Firmly Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Molasses
2 whole Eggs
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. (I didn't have cloves or allspice)...
In a mixer, beat the margarine (or butter) and brown sugar until fluffy. Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure it's evenly combined.
Add the eggs and and mix. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each addition.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or more if you have time.
Note: The dough was very dry and stiff. My KitchenAid nearly gave up. The Pioneer Woman didn't seem to have that problem. I divided it into two batches and put them in plastic bags, and kneaded it until the flour was incorporated. It took some time and some elbow grease. (translation: Ross did it for me).
At this point, I used my kitchen scale to weigh the dough out into 12 oz. portions. I wrapped the balls in plastic wrap, then flattened into a circle. Each child would get a nice cold circle of dough. Then, it went into the frig overnight.
When you're ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 F. When the dough is soft enough to roll but still firm, roll out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (if you roll it in flour, you'll have white gingerbread...)
Cut out shapes of your choosing and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of cutters used, until the cookies are baked through but still soft. Remove with a spatula and allow to cool completely.