What would the holidays be without gingerbread!
Here are two (2) delicious options that have been tested year after year at Holly’s Diner. I have made these with my friend Laurie and her boys for years and, thankfully, the tradition continued this year.
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tbsp vinegar
Creamy Decorative Icing & candies (optional)
Stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. In a large mixer bowl beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, molasses, and vinegar and beat well. Beat in flour mixture gradually, stirring in last part with a spoon till well mixed. Divide dough into thirds (in long rolls). Cover and chill about 3 hours or till easy to handle.
(Take one roll and split in half. Leave half in refrigerator and with other half) roll dough 1/8” thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375º oven for 5 – 6 minutes or till done. Cool and decorate.
Creamy Decorative Icing:
In a small mixer bowl beat 1 egg white, 2 tsp lemon juice (from a lemon fresh off of Laurie’s tree) and enough sifted powdered sugar (1 ½ - 2 cups) to make icing of piping consistency.
7 oz best-quality semisweet chocolate (we’ve used a bag of chocolate chips and its fine)
1 ½ cups+ all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (Laurie thinks we use a bit more each year, depends on how much you like ginger)
8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup dark-brown sugar, packed
¼ cup unsulfured molasses
¼ cup granulated sugar, for rolling cookies
1. Line two baking sheets with Silpats* (French nonstick baking mats), and set aside. Chop chocolate into ¼” chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the grated ginger and butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the brown sugar’ beat until combined. Add the molasses; beat until combined.
3. Add the reserved flour mixture in batches until fully incorporated. Mix in reserved chocolate, cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
4. Heat oven to 325º. Place the granulated sugar in a pie plate. Using a 1 ¾” gelato scoop, shape the dough into a ball. Roll each ball of dough in sugar. Bake until the surface cracks slightly, 13 – 15 minutes; let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Note: Silpats – I’ve been using these for a few years, the first time I experienced them was in the industrial kitchen size when SS had a Wetzel’s Pretzels business. Silpats were the greatest thing to bake the pretzels on! I finally got some in 2002, moving from parchment paper to Silpats, and now I would not bake without them!