Cookie Calendar: Soft Gingerbread with Hard Glaze


Is it a cop out to post the same recipe twice in one year?

It's not exactly the same, however. I'm giving you a variation today on the crunchy gingerbread I made a few days ago. By changing the size and shape of the cookies, you can make a big, soft, slightly chewy cookie that will get just as many oohs and aahs but won't put you out the effort of making a second batch of molasses cookies.

Plus, I'm throwing in a recipe for an opaque Hard Glaze today. It's all good.

I spread each cookie with a generous dollop of said icing, which thickened considerably upon standing for, well, more than a day before I got around to using it. I then dipped each cookie in a bowl of mixed sprinkles and sparkling sugars I had rescued from the kids' last attempt at decorating gingerbread men.


For the Soft Gingerbread Cookies, follow the original recipe for Gingerbread Cookies, but chill the dough in the bowl. Then, use a medium-sized tablespoon cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoons) to portion the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the balls to rounds about 1/2-inch thick. Bake for 8 minutes, until the cookies start turning slightly golden at the edges and look dry but are still soft. Let them rest on the sheets for a couple of minutes to firm up before removing to a cooling rack.

And now, for the icing on the cookie. I left out the vanilla, so my glaze might look slightly whiter. Still, when I make this for my sugar cookies, I think I'll include the vanilla for a touch of extra flavor.

soft-gingerbread01.jpgHard Glaze for Cookies
Source: The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
Yield: 1 1/4 cups glaze

1/4 cup (1 ounce) meringue powder [look for it by the baking supplies at the craft store]
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cups (12 to 16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup (2 5/8 to 4 ounces) cool water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food color or coloring paste

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the meringue powder, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Add 1/3 cup cool water and the vanilla, and stir, or beat on slow speed. The mixture will seem hard and lumpy, but the sugar will dissolve after 4 or 5 minutes and everything will smooth out. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition to achieve a spreadable consistency. For a very smooth, shiny glaze, the icing should be the consistency of corn syrup or molasses. For colored icing, add food color or coloring paste a drop at a time.

2. Dip the tops of cooled cookies in the glaze, then sweep a spatula over them to remove the excess. Place cookies on a rack for several hours for the glaze to harden and dry. This may take as long as overnight, depending on the humidity of your kitchen and the consistency of the glaze.

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