Thursday, December 04, 2014

Sweets for your Tree & Tummy~

 Molded Gingerbreads for the Tree

 Forget about the same ol gingy's and their sweet lil gumdrop buttons~ this year, fill your home with the sweet smell of baking gingerbreads.....the entire season long!  In addition to pressing out gingerbread cookies with my springerle molds, I make them as ornaments for the Chrismtas tree as well~ ornaments that you can actually eat~ yum!   Make up your dough a day ahead of time at least, and store in the fridge in an airtight container or zip bag~ be sure to squish all the air out of there!   I like my gingerbreads heavy on the nutmeg~ and only use molasses~ no corn syrup!
  There are a few tricks to getting a good impression with springerle cookie  molds, but don't worry if you don't have any~ you can get out your regular gingerbread man cutter and use that too.
  After your dough has rest at least a day,  its time to press them out~ don't bother to  preheat the oven tho, because these will set at least 24 hours to dry before baking~ it helps to set the impression in the top of the cookie.  Gather your springerle molds, flour, foil, spatula, rolling pin,knife, pastry brush, something like a skewer with a pointy end to make the hanger holes, dough and a parchment lined cookie sheet. Do you really need parchment??? yes.

 I like to roll out my dough on foil~ use a generous amount of flour so the dough wont stick to it~ after I roll out the dough, I take a really thin spatula and slip it under the dough all the way around to be sure its not stuck. With a pastry brush, brush flour into your mold~ you want a light even dusting not only in the deepest areas, but the flat parts as well~ the flat parts are what end up sticking the most. Make sure the deep areas are not filled with flour~ brush all the excess out, then give the mold a tap on the counter to get any last little bits out.  To get really good impressions from the springerle molds, I never press the mold into the dough!  I cut a piece of dough out the size of the cookie mold, pick it up with the spatula, and flip it over onto the cookie mold~
 The dough is pressed into the mold upside down~ I just take my thumbs and press evenly, starting at the bottom and working up to the top~ don't go back and forth or you could get double impressions.  A sharp knife is drawn round the edge in a downward slicing motion, to remove all the excess dough form around the edges of the mold.
  Carefully flip the mold over in your hand, and starting from the closest edge to you, give it a start by just slightly peeling the dough off the mold at the very edge~ once you do this gravity will do the rest for you~ be patient here~ don't go trying to pull it off or it will distort or tear!
 Pressed cookies are placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet~ don't forget to use your skewer and make a hole in the top for the ornament hangers!  These need to set in a cool dry place for at least 24 hours.
  Be sure they are safe from pets and snack snicking husbands.....
 Once dried, cookies are baked~ I bake mine at a low 300 degrees, and because I like them crunchy, will cook them about 15 minutes. If you like a bit softer cookies, cook them about 10-11 min.  I made a couple of sets of the 12 Days of Christmas for the tree, and then let the girls press out normal cookies from their favorites. They have finished baking in the photo above~ letting them set a whole 24 hours to dry helps them to keep crisp designs~ tho bolder ones always come out better than the really intricate springerles.

 They smell so Heavenly!
 There is nothing more fun than asking a guest if they would like to pick an ornament to eat off the tree when they come calling, tho I do like to watch the children drooling over them as they get closer and closer to the Christmas Tree~ if you have pets, be sure to hang them up high enough that they cant get to them.

  As they age they get crunchier and crunchier~ ohh some of the best cookies you will ever eat!  If you would like to try and make some of mine~ here is the recipe~
3&1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
3/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1&1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup molasses
4 tsp water

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, water and molasses until its thoroughly integrated.  Pour the wet bowl into the flour bow and mix well with a spoon until a stiff dough forms~ I use a folding motion with a big spoon~ don't use an electric mixer!
 Put in a sealed zip bag in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
 Press cookies then let dry 24 hours before baking.
 Bake cookies on parchemnt lined cookie sheet at 300 degress f, for 10-15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them.


Barbara Brown said...

They look WONDERFUL!!! This one's going in the "Book"! :-)
LY, Mom

Sue McFadden said...

Beautiful and YUM!

Sherri Farley said...

I love these. I only have a couple small molds and have made paper castings for the tree. I love gingerbread and have made cookie cutter ornaments but hadn't thought to use my molds for gingerbread ornaments. I thought you might be interested in this Martha Stewart video. I made these several years ago with gumpaste. They are quite nice too!