The weekend is here, so why not take a break from the shopping madness and indulge in some holiday baking?
This traditional holiday treat matches beautifully with wines made from the Muscat family of grapes, or with sparkling wines – either sweet or dry.
This recipe yields about two dozen 5-inch-high cookies.
HOLIDAY GINGERBREAD COOKIES
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until well blended.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed until well blended.
3. Add molasses, vanilla and lemon zest, and continue to mix until well blended.
4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
5. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic. Let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or as long as 6 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
7. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
8. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
9. Cut out cookies with a gingerbread man-shaped cutter. Space cookies on baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart.
10. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7 to 10 minutes. Do not over-bake.
11. Remove cookie sheet from oven, and allow the cookies to stand until they are firm enough to move to a wire rack. (Keep in mind that the cookies will continue to bake even after being removed from the oven, so it’s better to take them out while they’re still soft to the touch.)
12. After cookies have cooled, outline the edges with white icing, and also use the icing to make faces.