This year’s holiday season has been unique, as I’m recovering from knee surgery and have been confined to crutches. That said, it truly would not be the holidays without the smell of gingerbread wafting through the house. When I got word that a friend was going through a difficult time and his daughters needed cheering up, I thought some smiling gingerbread would be the perfect remedy. Balancing on crutches and one good leg, I mixed, chilled, cut, and decorated these babies. All for a good cause!
Now, this recipe makes a crisp gingerbread with a snap to it, which I personally prefer. If you’re looking for a soft, chewy cookie, this is not it.
Classic Gingerbread Cookies
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter
- 1.5 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 T ground cinnamon
- 2 t ground cloves
- 2 t ground ginger
- 1 T baking soda
- 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 egg whites
- 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 t cream of tartar
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until very creamy (this will be a very light brown color). Beat in spices and baking soda. Gradually stir in flour until well mixed. Cover and chill until cold — at least 1 hour, or as long as 2 days.
- Bake on center rack until cookies are firm in the center when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 20 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer to cooling racks. Allow to cool completely prior to decorating.
- Make the frosting: Beat egg whites, powdered sugar and 1/2 t. cream of tartar on high speed for 7 minutes until stiff peaks form. Fill pastry bag fitted with round tip of your choice. Use the frosting to decorate cookies to your liking. Use sprinkles, non-pareils or other decorating goodies to dress up your cookies. Voila!
- Let cookies set for 1 hour until frosting hardens. Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.