Well, Christmas week is finally here and for me that means taking a little break from writing to bake some festive cookies for my loved ones. In the lead up to Christmas Eve, I’ll be posting a recipe per day, as I bake them.
Granting myself a short break from my writing desk is a little easier these days, even for a workaholic like me. Last week I finished revising the novella I’ve been working on for the past six months or so. Over the summer, I sped through a draft in a few months and then reached a point where my insights into the story hit a wall, so to speak. When that happens, it’s a signal for me to take a reprieve, tuck the story away for a while, and work on something else. With grant writing and powering through my latest full-length novel project, there was no shortage of work to focus on. Then sometime in mid-October, I heard the novella calling out to me again. Time passed, new insights surfaced, and I finally knew what the story was really about. (Phew.) I receded into my little writing cave and wrote and rewrote and rewrote some more. Now I feel that the draft is in good shape. I’m about to send it out to a couple of trusted readers for feedback. Time to celebrate!
Today’s recipe is a holiday staple in our family, as it is for so many. These Gingerbread Cookies with Eggnog Royal Icing will be my contribution to this year’s Christmas Eve celebration. The cookies are soft and spicy, just the way I like my gingerbread. Also, this was my first time making Royal Icing and it turned out, woohoo! (Ha ha, nerdy baker moment.) Which also means it was my first time decorating with it. You’re welcome in advance for the laughs.
If you’re in the neighbourhood tomorrow, I’ll be posting a shortbread recipe, another holiday tradition, made especially for my mom.
Sending you lots of calming vibes to help with all the last-minute holiday nuttiness!
Thanks for stopping by,
Makes about 30 cookies
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter, unsalted
3/4 c brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 c molasses
Eggnog Royal Icing (small batch)
2 cups icing sugar
1 egg white
1- 2 tsp eggnog
1/2 – 1 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, stir together flour, spices and baking soda until combined. Set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add egg. Add molasses. (Tip: Oil the inside of your measuring cup to help the molasses flow out more easily.)
3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Knead the dough until smooth. Separate the dough into two discs, cover with wrap or parchment, and cool for 30 minutes.
4. Let dough discs rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes. Then roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters or the rim of a glass to cut out shapes. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for a couple of minutes on the tray before placing the cookies on a wrack to cool completely.
5. In the meantime, prepare the Eggnog Royal Icing. Beat together the sugar, egg white, nutmeg and eggnog at high speed for 10 minutes. The consistency should be light and fluffy. If you want to thin out the icing, add drops of eggnog until you reach your desired consistency. Funnel into piping bag with fine tip and have a cheery time decorating! Enjoy!