Tuesday, December 1, 2009
There are so many things to do in the month of December. I don't know how we all get through them all, but we do. And of course we do it with grace, dignity and artful expressions of love. YOU KNOW WE DO!!!!!!!
For the next few weeks I hope to find some really great Holiday treats for us to bake. I know that during December this year I have a great deal going on! I have just taken on a church bazaar for a friend of mine. I will be baking cakes for them to sell. I have to get my goodies package ready for my soldier for Round #5 for Operation Baking Gals, My Christmas shopping is done. Thanks to the Internet. I have only gone to Christmas Tree Shoppe once so far, and that was to get a pair of antlers for my car. Don't ask! Wrapping, writing Christmas cards, and of course my favorite "MY BIRTHDAY". Yes, also in December is the awesome occasion of my birthday. I was born on Christmas Eve many years ago. To be exact: 5 minutes before Christmas! So I am a Christmas baby. I suppose that is why I am so elfin at this time of year. I am really in my element during the Holidays! I hope you enjoy spending this time with me and please let me know if there is a favorite Holiday recipe that you would like to showcase during this month and I would be happy to post it on my blog.
Makes: about 90 (2-1/2-inch) cookies
Prep: 40 minutes
Chill: 3 hours
Bake: 8 to 10 minutes
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 recipe Royal Icing (see recipe below)
Small candies for decorating
1. In a medium bowl stir together all-purpose and whole wheat flours, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and cloves; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Beat in egg until mixture is light. Beat in molasses and lemon juice on low speed until combined. Beat in as much of flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture.
3. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out dough. (For Santa's, use tear-drop-shaped cookie cutters of various sizes.) Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. When cookies are cool, decorate with white or tinted Royal Icing and candies. Makes about 90 (2-1/2-inch) cookies.
In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons meringue powder.* Add 3 tablespoons cold water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is combined; then beat on medium to high speed for 5 to 8 minutes or until mixture forms stiff peaks. (If mixture seems stiff while beating, add water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Icing should be fairly thick for piping. For a thinner glazing consistency, stir in a little more water after beating.) When not using, keep tightly covered to prevent it from drying out; keep refrigerated.
Makes 2 cups.
*Note: Look for meringue powder at kitchen, cake-decorating, and crafts shops.
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