All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gingerbread Stars for Christmas

Christmas baking is in full swing here . I've been making Italian Anise cookies, and batches of those beautiful Sugar Roasted walnuts and almonds from Maria's recipe - apple gingerbread, and chunky double chocolate cookies with ginger and/or pecans. But I have to say my favorite cookie for Christmas is the plain and simple, but spicy and fragrant gingerbread cookie from an old edition of The New York Times cookbook. It reminds me of those lovely Carl Larsson paintings of Swedish Christmases, and the modest Christmases of the Little House on the Prairie books I loved so much as a child. It holds up well to decorating, though I'm sadly lacking in the decorating skills department. It travels well, which is handy in this day of uncertain mail delivery times. You can dunk it, decorate it, fluff it up with whipped cream ( or ice cream), or nibble slowly on one corner of the star, enjoying the flavor of cloves and cinnamon, ginger and molasses.
To make:
Fit two baking sheets with foil or parchment.
2/3 cup (11 T.) unsalted, room temperature butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup molasses
3 cups King Arthur flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, spices, and salt.
Add the egg and mix, then add the molasses and mix again.
Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until the dough forms a ball of sorts.
Remove dough from bowl, and pat into a disk. Chill for at least an hour. ( I keep this dough ready to go in the fridge, so I can bake up cookies when I need them)
Take out the chilled dough and set oven to 350F.
Roll the dough out to about 1/3 inch or less and cut with cookie cutters, dipping cutters into flour lightly every once in a while so it won't get too sticky.
Place cookies on sheet, 2 inches apart. Place first sheet in oven and bake for about 9 minutes.( your time will depend on thickness of dough and size of cutters)
Remove cookie sheet to cooling rack for ten minutes, then remove cookies to another cooling rack. When completely cooled, decorate as you wish.
This recipe made about two dozen cookies, using a medium-large star cutter.

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Martha said...

We call them German spice cookies. And I'm baking a batch or two this year.

La Table De Nana said...

I love both simply beautiful. and your nuts are so delish!

katrina said...

Morning, Martha! I would bet your part of Kansas was settled by German immigrants? German Spice or Gingerbread, these cookies are delicious!

katrina said...

Oh, Nana - did you make the nuts? I'm making more today - got to run get some more walnuts and the cinnamon is getting low. Glad you enjoyed these pretty little stars!

Barb said...

Hi Katrina~It's such a busy time right now I've had to play a bit of 'catch up' on your site. Those cinnamon nuts are sooooooo delicious!, but what really got to me are those gingerbread stars! Your photos are positively gorgeous!! I want to scoop them off the screen. I guess I better get to baking, huh?

(Will you be posting diet recipes after the first of the year, 'cuz all these amazing goodies aren't doing much for my hips!!)

Kathy Walker said...

I am getting ready to make up some of the Gingerbread Stars! I can imagine the wonderful fragrance in your kitchen!

katrina said...

Hi Barb! How's your weather? Frigid here, so I'm happy to be in the kitchen baking!
Glad you liked those sweet stars - I'm on my second big batch of dough, and give them away as soon as they're cool, just about. Which is why I'm not 20 pounds bigger. That's my secret - share the goodies!

katrina said...

So true, Kate! The scent of cinnamon and cloves really makes this time of year cozy and inviting, along with the waft of pine from the tree.
Love your blog - and especially your gorgeous cookies! I think you'll like those ginger stars, plain as they are.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Your cookie stras look great & ooh so tempting too!`
i love them,...excellent with a cup of ginger tea!


DENISE said...

I made these last night and they turned out very yummie! The first few batches I made I rolled them out a little thicker and they came out soft and chewy. The last few batches I rolled out thin and they turned out so thin and crisp. Omg, this is my new favorite gingerbread recipe! They reminded me of those wafer thin Moravian Ginger cookies that come in a cute tin.

katrina said...

Double ginger tea & cookies sound lovely, Sophie!

katrina said...

FANCY - what a great idea! I usually do the 1/3 inch and leave them out on the plate to harden overnight, but rolling them thinner= even better! Thanks, and glad you enjoyed!

csr said...

This is one of my favorite recipes-nice texture and excellent flavor. Thanks for sharing the recipe and using King Arthur Flour. Joan D @KAF

katrina said...

Hey Joan!
Delighted you enjoyed - and you know how I stand by King Arthur flour! It's the best.