Best-Ever Gingerbread Cookies
(From Walmart Magazine & Chatelaine Kitchens)
* Prep 20 min * Total 50 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling time
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, (divided into 2 Cups, 1 Cup)
* 4 tsp ground ginger
* 1 tbsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp allspice
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup fancy molasses
* STIR 2 cups flour with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
* BEAT butter with brown sugar in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, for 2 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Pour molasses mixture into flour mixture.
* STIR until all flour is combined. Stir in remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough is no longer sticky but still soft. Divide dough into 4 portions. Form into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap.
* REFRIGERATE until chilled, at least 30 minutes (or freeze up to one month).
Preheat oven to 350F
* Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, or spray with cooking spray.
* Roll out 1 disc of dough on a floured surface until 1/8th inch thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
* Transfer to prepared baking sheets
* Bake in centre of oven until deep brown around edges and firm to the touch, about 7 min (larger cut-outs may need more baking time)
* Repeat with remaining dough.
* Transfer cookies to racks to cool. Cool sheets slightly before baking the next batch.
* Decorate cooled cookies with Royal Icing (recipe below). Set aside until icing is dry, about 30 min.
* Beat 3 egg whites with 1/4 tsp vinegar in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until foamy.
* Add 5 cups sifted icing sugar until combined. Beat on high until dense and thick but still foamy, 3 to 7 minutes.
* Stir in 2 to 4 tbsp cold water to thin icing. Colour as desired, preferably with gel colouring. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a very small plain tip to decorate.