Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gingerbread Cookies

Our family continued the Christmas Gingerbread House tradition in grand style last night.

Check out these masterpieces.  (I can say that because I really had nothing to do with any of them.)

Two architects worked together to design each of these beautiful homes and we need your help to declare the winner of the gingerbread house decorating contest.  Send me a comment with your favorite house to cast your vote.  

The gingerbread houses turned out great but they made me hungry for gingerbread cookies.  (Ones that are a little less hard than the walls of the house.)

So I decided to whip up a batch of gingerbread snowflakes to munch on while I watched the decorating.  This recipe came from  Thanks Annie!

Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Mix in the molasses and egg until combined.

Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness.

Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. 

Decorate cookies with royal icing and sprinkles for an extra touch of sweetness.

Oh, and did I mention that these cookies make great decorations for my eggnog cupcakes?


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gingerbread Cupcakes

I am a huge fan of spicy, crispy, molasses sweetened gingerbread cookies.  I love the combination of the cinnamon and ginger and allspice and the rich, deep flavors of the molasses and brown sugar.  They're a definite contender for my all time favorite Christmas cookie.  (Tied with a dark chocolate oatmeal cookie.) 

I don't know why I never thought about transforming these delicious cookies into cupcake form before.  But it finally occurred to me that the same flavors that make such tremendous cookies would also make phenomenal cupcakes.  Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla - all the flavors of Christmas. 

Do you want to know what is better than eating a gingerbread cookie?  Eating a gingerbread cookie that is sitting on top of a gingerbread cupcake. 

Gingerbread Cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (156g) molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Make the cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until creamy.

Beat in the egg until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Beat in the milk, molasses, and vanilla on medium speed. (Yes, that really is how it is supposed to look.)

In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice together until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full, no more.

Bake for 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

 Cool on wire racks.

Frost with cream cheese frosting.

 Add a gingerbread cookie to the top of each cupcake and you have achieved gingerbread perfection.