When I was a kid, I remember reading the story of the gingerbread man. An old lady bakes a gingerbread man and lets it cool by the window .Unfortunately, the gingerbread man leaps to life and runs out of the window, shouting 'Don't eat me!'.
Since then I have always had a spot for this cookie. I have looked around for this cookie cutter in many places yet could not find it. Almost a year back, Sharmi lent me this cutter and each time I plan to make this somehow I ended baking something else!
Finally, a few days ago I baked these and the kids loved the shapes and eagerly took them to school for the snack box.From what I heard through the kids,their classmates loved them equally and the two happily shared them with their friends.
I followed Sharmi's recipe.Since the cookie cutter is really small, she warned me that it makes a huge batch.So I made the dough and used only half of it and got almost 50 cookies.So the number of cookies depends on the size of the cookie cutter and also the thickness of the rolled out dough. Also if you don't have this cutter, you can use any other shape as well.
Though I followed Sharmi's recipe, I have made some changes. I have used whole wheat flour here and adjusted the spice quantity. It's been a long time since I used refined flour in bakes.I was a little skeptic in using Whole wheat flour but when I tasted the cookies, I felt my worries were unnecessary!
After making the cookies, I went in search of its history.Wiki states that it was made way back in the 16th century and were served at the court of Elizabeth I, England!! She also made cookies in the shape of important guests! Interesting isn't it!!
Adapted from : Sharmis Passion
Whole wheat flour - 1 1/4 cups
Demerera sugar- 1/4 cup, tightly packed
Unsalted butter, at room temperatures- 50 grams
Baking Soda- 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
Warm milk-as needed [ see note below]
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Dry ginger powder- 3/4 teaspoon
Clove powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Grated nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon
Cardamom powder- a large pinch
For the Royal Icing
Finely powdered sugar - 1/4 cup
Corn flour -3/4 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1/2 teaspoon
Milk- 1-2 teaspoon / as needed
Red and green food colors - as needed
Powder the sugar along with the spice powder and keep aside. In a bowl take the whole wheat flour and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and mix well.
Cream butter with the sugar till nice and fluffy. Add honey and beat for a minute
Now add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and form a smooth non sticky dough.I added a little warm milk to as the mixture was a bit dry. Maybe it was because I used whole wheat flour. So, when you make the dough see if it is ok or dry and then add milk if needed. Form a ball of the dough and cling wrap it and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour
After an hour [or the next day, as in my case!], take out a small portion of the dough and roll it out uniformly. If it is rolled too thick, the cookies will be chewy. If it is too thin, it will bake too fast and burn.Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, punch out shapes and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Leave a little gap between the cookies.Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes[see note below]. Once the bottom of the cookie is brown, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat for the remaining dough.
For the royal icing, take the sugar, corn flour in a bowl and whisk well.
Add lemon juice and mix. Then add milk drop by drop to get a slightly thick yet flowing paste. Divide into three parts and add red and green food color to two of them.
Pack them into small cones which have a very small opening / nozzle. Pipe designs and enjoy decorating the cute gingerbread men.
I have joined a group of friends in a baking event called Bake-a-thon.We will be posting baked goodies on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays all through December.Do take a look at what we all have baked!!
- I used a little warm milk to knead the cookie dough as it was a bit dry. The original recipe does not use milk though.
- The number of cookies for this quantity of dough will depend on the size of the cookie cutter and also the thickness of the rolled dough.
- The baking time will also vary with the size of the cookies and the thickness.
- The cookies will be soft as soon as they come out of the oven and will turn crisp after they cool.Else bake again for a few more minutes.
- Use finely powdered sugar for the Royal icing else you won't be able to pipe out the decorations.
- Start decorating the cookies after they have cooled completely
- Start with a very small tip while piping.This also depends on how small / large your cookie is.
- You can make the dough the previous day ,bake it a day or two later and finish the icing a couple of days later!That's exactly what I did!
- After a few days in the box, the un-iced cookies turned a little soft.I baked them again for 3 minutes and they turned crisp.
- I used only half of this dough. I cling wrapped the remaining dough and refrigerated it for a week and baked another variety of cookies with that dough.The dough was good!
This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016
Labels: Cookies, English Cuisine, Oven Fresh Eggless Bakes