Gingerbread Cookies and Cupcakes

Gingerbread Cookies

Ginger is the flavor of the season, showing up in lattes, candies, and baked goods. Gingerbread cookies abound in holiday baskets, and gingerbread house kits start appearing on shelves. Ginger is a great ingredient in foods because it's healthy; it has anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. It can also help settle any gastrointestinal discomfort from rich holiday foods, so it's wonderful to have around for the season.

Using ground ginger root, you can make a variety of wonderful desserts. Here are two recipes, one for cookies and one for delicious spiced ginger cupcakes. Enjoy the holiday season's bountiful flavor!

Perfect Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe creates cookies that can be easily molded with cookie cutters if you want to make little gingerbread men.

  • Combine three cups of white flour with 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of garlic cloves, one tablespoon of ground ginger root, and two teaspoons of cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, combine one egg, six tablespoons of butter, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Blend well until the mixture is more towards a liquid.
  • Add half a cup of molasses, two teaspoons of vanilla, and a little lemon zest into the sugar and egg mixture. Continue blending- you can use a hand mixer or a KitchenAid, whichever you have at home.
  • Begin to stir the dry ingredients into the sugar and egg mixture, blending thoroughly.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2-4 hours. You can refrigerate it, but let it warm up for an hour or so after refrigerating.
  • Spread some flour on a cutting board and roll the dough out. You can make round drops for circle cookies, or use cookie cutters for fantastic shapes.
  • Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for 7-10 minutes each at 375 F.
  • Once they're done, you can decorate them with icing or dust a little powdered sugar on top.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

This is a recipe from scratch, but if you're ever rushed for time, you can always add ground ginger root to a regular cupcake mix from the box.

  • Mix half a cup of brown sugar, one egg, and half a cup of unsalted butter together. You can use a hand mixer or KitchenAid for this one.
  • Add half a cup of molasses, half a cup of milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla to the mix. It'll be a little clumpy, but don't worry- it'll even out soon.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together one and a half cups of white flour, half a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of ginger, and half a teaspoon of nutmeg.
  • Run the mixer on low speed and gradually combine the ingredients together until they're properly combined.
  • Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full. At 350 F, bake for 19-21 minutes. A toothpick should come out soft when they're done.

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Perfect Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie

Sugar cookies are a great family recipe. Kids love cutting them into shapes, and you can easily decorate them for any occasion. With Halloween coming up, you can use a variety of cookie cutters to make festive treats for the family- or let the kids do it. These cookies also hold decorating icing well, so kids can get creative with their designs. Soft and delightfully chewy, this is a tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe that's sure to please.

Ingredients

  • One and a half cups of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 5 cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Instructions:

  • Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until smooth.
  • Add in eggs, vanilla, baking powder, flour, and salt.
  • Refrigerate for an hour (or overnight, if you can).
  • Spread out a floured surface and roll the dough out. This is where the cookie cutters come in. If your kids want to make fun Halloween shapes, ensure that the dough is relatively flat- larger cookies don't bake as well.
  • Bake the cookies at 400 F for six to eight minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Let cool for half an hour, and then decorate with icing.

Decorating Ideas

It's a simple recipe, but the magic is that you can decorate these cookies in a variety of ways. You always have the option to use cookie cutters, but you can also create other shapes. If you don't have a cookie cutter, you can create them with cardboard: stencil a design on cardboard, cut it out, and lay it over the dough. Then trace around it with a sharp knife.

Some great shapes for Halloween are pumpkins, witches' hats, bats, ghosts, and black cats. You can find a design on the Internet, print it out, and glue it to a piece of cardboard. Then place the cardboard cut-out over the dough and trace the outline. Gently remove the dough and place it on a baking sheet in your desired pattern or shape.

These cookies are also perfect for decorative icing. Kids love drawing on their sugar cookies, and these work well as a template for your little ones' designs. Get a pack of decorative icing in multiple colors and let the kids' imagination go wild. You don't even need cookie cutters for decorating; a regular sugar cookie, in a round shape, works just as well.

If you're not looking to shape the cookies, they still work well as a classy dessert. You can place them in round balls on the cookie sheet for a perfectly round sugar cookie, then add a little chocolate frosting on top. A sprinkle of sea salt gives them a sweet and salty crunch.

If you're hosting a cocktail party or fancy event, you can dress these cookies up with a little dried fruit on top. Or add some homemade blueberry frosting that gives the cookies a distinct flavor. This versatile recipe ensures that you have a sturdy, delicious cookie that's easy to decorate and design.

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Gingerbread Cookies

There's just something about gingerbread. It evokes the holidays, the strings of ornaments and lights, and the unwrapping of gifts. But you don't have to wait until December to start making gingerbread cookies. Our terrific recipes will have you making delicious cookies long before the holiday season starts.

Gingerbread owes its fantastic taste to the ginger root, which has long been used in ancient traditional medicine. Ginger is said to reduce nausea, congestion, and inflammation. While we're not promising that our cookies will do all that, it's nice to know that even though you're eating a cookie, it's made with one of the world's healthiest ingredients. We've also added lemon and cloves for a more natural and organic feel.

World's Best Gingerbread Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease your cookie pans or line them with parchment paper (either one works just fine).
  • Whisk 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, and 1 tablespoon of ground ginger together.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 6 tablespoons of softened butter, 1 egg, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. This is where you'll want to use that new KitchenAid mixer you got last year from your in-laws. Make sure the mix is well blended and creamy.
  • Add 1/2 cup molasses, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into the butter and brown sugar mix. The lemon zest is optional, but we highly recommend it; it gives the gingerbread a little fruity tang.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients gradually. Make sure you don't add too much of the flour mixture at one time and that the mix stays creamy, but starts to thicken a little bit.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand for 2-8 hours at room temperature. You can also refrigerate the dough if you want to make the cookies tomorrow, but it can't be refrigerated for longer than 48 hours.
  • Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and begin rolling out your dough. This is your time to get creative: you can make small round cookies, or you can use a gingerbread man cut-out to make fun shapes.
  • Spread cookies a little over an inch apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes. If you prefer a softer cookie, use a little less time.

Gingerbread Cookies

Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

Once your fantastically delicious cookies are done, you have some options for decorating them. If you made gingerbread shapes, you can decorate them with different colored icing or cake decorating tubes. This is a fun activity for kids, but adults enjoy it too. You can give your gingerbread man little buttons or a hat.

If you want to go for a more traditional decoration, you can gently brush them with glaze. Many bakeries will use a powdered-sugar glaze that's simple to make. You can also opt to sprinkle a little sea salt on top of your cookies to give it that added dimension of taste.

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