It’s time for holiday baking! This year we baked an assortment of goodies, including gingerbread ninja cookies (recipe below), chocolate mint cut-out cookies, matcha shortbread and vanilli kranzchen. We also made a couple of delicious, guilt-free gluten and dairy-free recipes – chilled double chocolate torte and super-easy, decadent chocolate meringue cookies.
A lot of baking has been done, and with cooking left to do still before heading off to another holiday party, I’ll keep this focused on the fun and tasty gingerbread ninja cookies. The ninjabread cookie cutters are from Fred, which makes a bunch of fun products (including a robot ice cube tray which was a popular item at our secret santa gift exchange). I’m not that artistic, so I made the icing and left if up to my husband to decorate the ninja cookies, which turned out great. The recipe is adapted Bake with Anna Olson, which I found through Amy’s Food Adventures blog.
Yield: Makes about 4 dozen large cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Shape the dough into 2 disks, wrap and chill for about an hour up to 2 days (the dough will still be soft, even once chilled).
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 2-3 baking trays with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first disk of dough until just over 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter of your choosing to cut out cookie shapes and lift then carefully to the prepared trays, leaving about ½-inch between them. Continue with the second piece of dough – any scraps can be stored chilled and then re-rolled until it has all been used.
Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes until you see them brown a little just around the edges. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the tray before removing to cool completely. The cookies will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container.
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 4 cups of sifted icing sugar
Beat the egg whites until foamy and add the lemon juice and beat until combined. Then add the icing sugar and beat until combined and smooth. If you want thinner icing, add 3 cups of sugar first and adjust with more icing sugar to thicken. Store in an airtight container as it will dry out.
For the icing I use fresh egg whites from a trusted supplier. If you don’t want to use raw egg whites, you can substitute 5 tablespoons meringue powder and 1/3 cup water for raw eggs.