This is how we spent last Saturday afternoon. W invited his two besties, and we rolled and cut and sprinkled cookies, and loaded hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and even more sprinkles.
Although I love rolled cookies, particularly those that give me an excuse to use the bag of vintage metal cutters I scored at Value Village for $2.99, sugar cookies can be a little dull, and gingerbread isn’t my favourite. I love the warm, heady, better-than-pot-pourri spices of gingerbread, but find molasses too hard-core for someone who really really dislikes black licorice.
But flipping through Anna Olson’s latest book, Back to Baking, I came across pale golden maple gingerbread cutout cookies that totally fit the bill. (Aside: I just spent 10 days with her in Jasper, and she’s every bit as awesome in person as on TV.)
These cookies are paler golden and mildly spiced; I left out the lemon zest and ginger and cut down on the allspice (from 3/4 tsp. to 1/4 tsp.) because I thought it would overwhelm the maple flavour, which tends to get lost once baked anyway. I found the dough to be a bit sticky – likely on account of the syrup – and so upped the flour a bit. You’ll need to generously flour your work area, especially if you have little hands squishing the dough as flat as they can on the table. Use a thin spatula to lift them off, or roll the dough between two sheets of parchment instead.
There are a great deal more cookies in my immediate future, with our cookie exchange this Saturday afternoon! (Want to come? Say so here and I’ll email you!) A few of you requested a virtual cookie exchange – let’s do it. I’ll of course post all about the exchange and as many recipes as I can gather. If you’d like to be a part of it, post your recipes – or links to your own sites – on Saturday’s post! Does that work?
Maple Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
Adapted from Back to Baking, by Anna Olson
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and ginger.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt; add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed or stir by hand until you have a soft dough. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or up to a day.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes and bake on a parchment-lined sheet for 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool completely before decorating. Makes lots.
December 08 2011 11:15 pm | cookies & squares