Nothing screams Happy Holidays better than ginger bread cookies. There is something about these Spiced cookies. They simply fill the house and heart with festive spirits.
Purvi wanted me to bake the cookies since the time we brought these cookie cutters. She not only wanted to bake them, but she wanted to decorate them with icing as well. I was touched by her enthusiasm but I wish I could share her spirit. It is simply because I am not very good with icing. My hands, that are so steady during other times tend to shake when I squeeze the piping bag. Straight lines end up crooked and curves end up looking lopsided. I simply don't understand how people can decorate cookies and cakes with those beautiful designs and patterns. My designs look more like a small child's irregular drawings. I prefer my cookies without any icing or decorations. It's simple fast and satisfies my sweet tooth perfectly!!!
But then, Purvi wanted her gingerbread cookies to be decorated. So I set aside a date for this ardrous task promised Purvi that we would bake and decorate ginger bread cookies on that day. I had bookmarked the eggless cookie recipe from allrecipes.com. However, as luck would have it, molasses, that was almost always available wasn't there when I needed it. Why are things always abound when you don't need them and when you do need them they are nowhere to be seen. I tried explaining to Purvi that ginger bread cookies couldn't be baked without molasses and that we would bake them on a later day. But she wouldn't hear any of it. "But you promised" she said with a crest fallen face.
I really wanted to bake the cookies but then how would I do it without molasses? I was thinking about it when I was suddenly hit by the idea of using jaggery syrup as a substitute for molasses. And within no time, we were baking gingerbread cookies.
I don't know about you, but we like our cookies a little crispy. Not rock hard. But I like them to have a crunch when you bite them. But if you are one of those who prefer your ginger bread cookies a little chewy, then you can bake them for a shorter duration.
In the end, Purvi and I had an absolute ball baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. Purvi helped me roll and cut the cookies with the cookies cutters and I ended up icing them. I struggled with it in the beginning but gradually got into the groove. Most of them weren't half as bad. And for someone with shaky hands, I must say that it was fairly satisfactory.
Purvi said that the cookies tasted very good and she had the best day of her life. My girl is easy to please isn't she?
Gingerbread cookies recipe:
Preparation time: 40min
Baking time: 10-12min
Makes- approximately 5dozen cookies
Grated Palm jaggery- 1cup
Butter- 1 cup or 16tbsp at room temperature
Icing sigar- 1 cup icing sugar
Baking soda- 1-1/2tsp
Baking Powder- 1/2tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1tsp
Ginger powder- 1tsp
Chai masala- 1/2tsp
All purpose flour- 4 cups (measured after sifting 3 thrice)
Milk- 2 tbsp
For the icing:
Icing Sugar- 6tbsp
- Mix the palm jaggery and water in the thick bottomed sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil on low heat.
- Once the jaggery dissolves and reaches single thread consistency, take off the heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk till light and fluffy. Stir in the salt, cooled jaggery syrup and whisk some more.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, dry ginger powder and the chai masala all purpose flour and the milk mix well with a spatula.
- Divide the dough into four equal portions. Place one portion of the dough between two sheets of baking paper roll out into 1/4 inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into desired shapes and place them on a cookie sheet. Leave a gap of atlas two inches between them.
- Collect the frills and shape them into a ball and reroll and repeat cutting out until all the dough is used up.
- Chill the cut dough in the refrigerator for 10-15mins before baking in a preheated oven at 180C for 10min or until the undersides are golden brown.
- Leave on the rack for 10min before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the dough.
For the icing:
- Mix the icing sugar and water in a bowl and whisk till well blended.
- Transfer the icing into a ziplock bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Pipe the icing over the cookies to decorate. Allow the icing to set for 20mins before storing the cookies in air tight containers.