Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Make It. Gingerbread tips.

I originally set-out to write a post that would demonstrate how simple it is to make delicious and beautiful gingerbread cookies. Unfortunately, I have no business pretending I'm Martha Stewart. I ruined my first three batches. But! That 4th batch came out pretty sweet. So, let my mistakes save you from your own cookie trial and error. Use these tips to get it right... the first time.

  • DO use Trader Joe's Deep, Dark Gingerbread mix. The flavor is rich and spicy (and it's pretty much foolproof).
  • DON'T coat your baking sheet with cooking spray. When the timer for batch #2 went off, my cookies were floating in a puddle of fake buttery goop.
  • DO use parchment paper.
  • DON'T wing it. Baking 5-7 minutes at 375 does not equal 10 minutes at 320*.
  • DO chill your dough between batches. If the dough gets too warm, your cut-out will not retain its shape.
  • DON'T buy the Betty Crocker cookie icing for decorating. Just trust me on this one.
  • DO incorporate chocolate. Adding nonpareils to decorate and cover the sloppy icing on my snowflakes proved to be both tasty and pretty.
  • DON'T eat them all at work the next day because you forgot your lunch at home. Or do. I don't really have any regrets about that, actually.
*And just what was in the oven that made me think I could bend the rigid rules of baking? Magic Cookie Bars--a specialty of my boyfriend, Adam. They came out perfect, of course. Find the recipe here.

-- Heather Robertson

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