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GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Gingerbread cookies These cookies are made by cutting out different shapes from rolled out gingerbread dough with cookie cutters, then baked and garnished with sugar icing.

See another recipe for spicy gingerbread cookies flavoured with coffee and citrus zest.

100 ml dark molasses
200 ml sugar
1 portion (4 - 5 tsp) of gingerbread spice
1 tsp baking soda
50 ml cold water
150 g butter
1 - 2 eggs
500 g flour
sugar icing for garnish:
1 egg white
8 - 12 tsp icing sugar
(red, green and/or yellow food colouring)

Mix the molasses, sugar and spices in a saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil. Remove the pan from heat. Mix the baking soda thoroughly with the water and add to the sugar-spice mixture. Add the soft butter, egg(s) (one at a time) and flour. Mix just enough to get a sticky dough (see the pictures below).

Soft gingerbread dough Arrow Gingerbread dough wrapped in plastic
Wrap the soft dough in plastic
and place in refrigerator to harden

Wrap the flattened dough in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator overnight, for the flour to swell. On the next day, roll out the hardened dough between two parchment papers (thus preventing the dough from sticking to the rolling pin) into as thin sheet as possible (about 3 mm). Remove the top parchment paper.

Cutting gingerbread dough Arrow Gingerbread dough shapes
Cut out figures with cookie cutters

Using fancy cutters, cut different shapes out of dough (see the picture above). Popular Finnish shapes are little men and women, piglets, hearts, stars, half moons, etc. Leave some space between the shapes, as the dough will spread a bit in the oven. Remove the excess dough from between the shapes and roll it out again for the next batch of cookies. If the dough warms up and gets too sticky to handle, put it back in refrigerator for a while.

Transfer the parchment paper and the cookies on a baking sheet and bake at 200 °C for about 5 - 10 minutes, or until the cookies begin to brown slightly around the edges. This depends on the thickness and size of the cookie shapes. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.

Sugar icing of various colours For the sugar icing, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form, then gradually add the icing sugar. If necessary, use more sugar than stated in the recipe above  —  the icing should be very stiff.

If you like, take portions of the icing and colour them with food colouring of your choice, leaving one part plain white (see the picture on right).

Use a pastry bag  —  or make several pastry bags out of parchment paper for each icing colour  —  to garnish the cookies with thin icing strips along the edges.

Garnished gingerbread cookies You may write down the names of everyone in the family with the icing on the cookies.

Let the icing dry out thoroughly at room temperature before serving the cookies. Note that this may take a couple of days.

Picture on right: gingerbread cookies garnished with coloured sugar icing.

Serving suggestion:
Leave the gingerbread cookies ungarnished and serve them as a dessert with blue cheese, walnuts, grapes, apples and other fruit.

Gingerbread cookies with blue cheese Gingerbread cookies and blue cheese form a surprisingly delicious combination of opposite flavours. Gingerbread cookies are traditionally served with red Christmas glögg.

Picture on right: small, round gingerbread cookies with blue cheese, red grapes and walnuts.


Recipe source: family recipe from Mrs. Kirsti L.


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