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perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on October 30, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten

The holidays will be here before you know it. Now’s the time to start filling your freezer with sweet and savory treats that you can pull out in a moment’s notice. A couple months out I tackle some of my more time-consuming recipes. When our kitchen table and bedrooms begin to fill, I’m always glad I did.

Gingerbread cookies are always a favorite. An added bonus is that they freeze beautifully and only take minutes to thaw. Ensuring that you can share a little love without delay.

Here is another award-winning recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She has taught this old dog so many baking tricks. One of the most important is to weigh all the ingredients using a scale. The Escali Primo Precision kitchen scale is a great pick at about $25. 

The other is to bring all the ingredients to room temperature. I knew that about butter, but I never thought about eggs. Once you do everything will cream like a dream.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 10 tablespoons butter for one minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. 

Add 150 grams brown sugar and 2/3 cup molasses and beat on medium high speed until combined and creamy.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. 

Beat in one egg and one teaspoon vanilla extract on high speed for two full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk 438 grams flour, one teaspoon baking soda, one half teaspoon salt, one tablespoon ground ginger, one tablespoon cinnamon, one half teaspoon allspice, and one half teaspoon  ground cloves together until combined. 

On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky. 

Divide dough in half and place each onto a large piece of wax paper. Top with another piece of wax paper and pat into a disc.  

With a rolling pin roll the dough out into a quarter inch slab. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight.

I have a wooden skewer that I’ve marked at a quarter inch with a permanent marker to use as a guide. 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two to three large baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one disc of chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Peel away the wax paper, cover it once again, flip the disc and remove the top piece of wax paper. Using a cookie cutter cut the dough into shapes.

Place on the prepared baking sheet one inch apart.

Repeat with the second disc. Then re-roll the dough scraps until all the dough is shaped. 

Bake cookies for about nine to ten minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet.

Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Royal frosting is the best! Combine 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar, one and half tablespoons meringue powder, not plain egg white powder and four tablespoons of room temperature water. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together on high speed for two minutes. When lifting the whisk up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 5-10 seconds. If it’s too thick, beat in more water one tablespoon at a time. If it is too thin continue beating and/or add a little more powdered sugar.

Royal Icing freezes well. Divide the icing into disposable pastry bags. Place with into tall glasses small end down. Refrigerate until firm. 

Twist the open ends to close and place in a Ziploc bag and freeze. Thaw the bag in a tall glass small end down at room temperature. Unused icing can be frozen again for later use.

Once completely cool, decorate as desired. Cookies stay fresh, covered at room temperature for one week. They also freeze beautifully. Once the icing is completely hardened, place in Ziploc bags and freeze. To serve, take out of the freezer and let sit at room temperature for at least thirty minutes.

Love, love, love!

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