Luckily for me (and Sam), my mother-in-law Josy brought us a huge tin of amazing Christmas baking. Everything was there—mailänderli, brunsli, zimtstern, her famous raisin cookies, vanilla gipfels, thumbprints, spitzbuben etc. etc. etc. She put me to shame and let me off the hook at the same time (I've baked hardly anything except for these Boozy Balls).
But even though I was released from my Christmas baking duties, there was one thing I missed—decorating gingerbread. Hence, these gingerbread pines.
This recipe is basically Martha Stewart's Gingerbread Snowflakes recipe, but some flour is replaced with cocoa powder to get that nice dark colour.
625 g flour
125 g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
1 tsp each cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper
225 g butter, soft
200 g brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
340 g molasses
In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating them in completely. Beat in the molasses.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
Add the dry to wet and gently stir together.
Separate into four discs and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
When ready to roll and bake
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4
Roll out dough to desired thickness (the thinner you roll them, the harder the cookies) and cut out the cookies.
Bake for about 11 minutes, or until you can smell them and the tops are just barely firm.
- If you want a cookie that is lighter in colour, leave out the cocoa powder and use 750 g of flour.
- If you want a softer cookie, roll it thicker, and bake it just until the top sets.
- This makes a lot of cookies, especially if you are using small cookie cutters. You can always freeze some of the dough, or halve the recipe.
- If you're gong for fancy, uniformly iced cookies, trace the cookie cutter onto a sheet of paper and draw out your design template before you begin with the icing.