Remember the last cupcake workshop? Well you might not, but the girls and I certainly do! It was such a nice way to spend a rainy sunday afternoon. Of course, Christmas was the perfect occasion to repeat the experience, this time with Christmas cookies.
The week-end before the workshop, I went window shopping..and could not resist buying cute cookie cutters for the occasion: gingerbreadman, bells, mistletoe, snowman, you name it! I know it seems ridiculous, but I believe christmas cookies taste better when they have the right shape. Please don’t judge..
As we were about 10 girls around the table this time, I made the cookie dough in advance, so that we just had to roll it, cut out the desired shapes, cook them and decorate them. I also made a few cupcakes with the same recipe as the one used in the previous workshop. But the ginerbread cookies recipe is new on the blog, so that deserves a bit more detail!
Ingredients (makes about 40):
I have to admit beforehand that I cheated a little bit with the spices: I used a “speculoos mix” instead of mixing the spices myself. In Belgium you can find this mix at the supermarket. If you want to reproduce this from scratch, here are the ingredients stated on the pack: cinnamon, coriander, carvi, nutmeg, ginger and clove powder. I don’t know the exact quantities of each, but to taste I can you there is a lot of cinnamon.
For the dough:
– 425 g flour
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1 pinch of salt
– 5 tablespoons speculoos spice mix
– 100 g honey
– 50 g agave syrup (or honey)
– 350 g brown sugar
– 115 g butter
– 2 lemons
– 2 eggs
For the icing:
– a few drops of lemon juice
– a pack icing sugar
– food coloring
I never use very precise measurings for icing..just mix it all together, make sure it is not runny, and if so add sugar.
I also used ready made fondant, icing pens sugar pearls etc..
1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C
2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a pan,on medium fire, mix together brown sugar, butter, honey and agave syrup until you obtain a thick, brown syrup. Let the mix cool down a little.
4. Add the syrup to the mix of dry ingredients, then add the lemon juice and the eggs. Mix until you obtain a homogeneous dough, a little bit sticky.
5. Put the dough in a big bowl, covered with a dry piece of cloth, in the fridge for at least an hour.
6. Once the dough is hard enough (i.e. does not stick to your fingers when you take it), dust a clean table & a pastry roll with flour, and roll the dough flat until about 3-5 mm thick.
7. You can now cut out pieces from the dough! Once it looks too much like a Gruyere full of holes, just make a big bowl out of the dough and roll it flat again. Repeat until you have no more.
8. Once you have all you little shapes, put them on a pastry pan and in the oven for 7-10mn until golden (it depends on how thick they are) . The cookies will still be soft, but will harden when cooling down.
9. Once the cookies have cooled down, you can start the decorating! Don’t start the icing when the cookies are still hot as it would melt down. If you are decorating with dried fruit, it is better to decorate the cookies before you bake them, so that the raisinns, almonds and other nuts stay trapped in the dough.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
PS: Most of our cookies did not make it until step 9…we ate them while still warm.
PPS: I have a soft spot for the pink snowman..looks like he belongs to a musical “Singin in the snow” or something