Saturday, 1 December 2007

Gingerbread Snaps (Cookies)

A little over a year ago, in a fit of madness, I volunteered to teach a Sunday school class at Meeting. I've been doing a "talky" lesson plan, but the kids have been wanting to do some "crafts", which are not exactly my forte. However, since this Sunday we will have a pot-luck lunch after meeting, I decided that we could decorate gingerbread.

Instead of wheat flour, I used 2 1/2 cup brown rice flour, and 1 cup arrowroot flour, as I am not the only one with problems with wheat in our group. They worked okay, although they are a little sandy in texture, and seemed to spread more than usual...

I ended up with soft, blobby Christmas trees, plump spready gingerbread men and stars so shapeless they could be anything. I also made the pre-fab parts for a gingerbread house, though I fear it will be more of a gingerbread shack. Never mind, stick enough icing and candy on it all and it will be fine. It'll be like the garage of a guy who never fixes anything, until the door won't close and the roof is being held up with a tree trunk and the hood of a 1972 Chevy, but who covers it in multi-colour twinkling lights every Christmas, and it looks just lovely anyway. Yeah. That's what I'm telling myself.

This is an excellent recipe to make with kids. It holds up well to being rolled and re-rolled, in fact the second rolling tends to make a better cookie. If you really want them to keep their shape when baked, be sure to use the wheat flour, and chill the prepared pans of cut-out cookies for 5 or 6 minutes before baking. They will need a few extra minutes in the oven.

I'm hoping I'll have some pictures to post of the decorated cookies. NOTE: Gingerbread decorating held over until next week due to unsea - er, seasonal weather. Stay tuned!

30 cookies
45 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

1 1/2 cups soft whole wheat flour
2 cups soft unbleached flour
1 cup Sucanat
OR 1/2 cup Sucanat and 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 cup light molasses
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup mild vegetable oil

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Warm the molasses, and mix the molasses, oil and water. I usually put them all together in one measuring cup, then heat them in the microwave until the molasses will dissolve easily into the water.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The dough should be fairly stiff, and not sticky. If it is too soft and sticky, add a little more flour. Feel free to turn the dough out and knead it to incorporate the last of the flour. This dough is better once it has been worked for a while.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a couple of cookie trays with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4" thick, and cut with cookie cutters. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie trays. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes until lightly browned and set. They will harden up more as they cool.


Bellini Valli said...

The gingerbread cookies sound perfect Ferdzy..and I'm sure your gingerbread "shack" will turn out great as well.We used to make a Kit Kat House with my daughter for Christmas..her own little edible log cabin.

Kevin said...

I will definitely have to try making gingerbread this holiday season.