BiteClub, Holiday Cookie Contest

Meloni Courway’s Spice Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

(to leave out for the big guy in red)
Makes 40 medium cookies
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 ½ cups molasses
2 large eggs
¼ cup buttermilk
Icing:
1 pound confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons pasteurized dried egg white powder
1/3 Cup water (plus more as needed)
Dough:
1. In a medium sized bowl combine and whisk, flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or in a large deep bowl with a hand mixer, combine butter, shortening, brown sugar and lemon zest. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add molasses and beat again for 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add buttermilk and beat briefly. Now add flour mixture in 3 parts, beating slowly after each addition. A stiff dough will form.
3. Divide dough into 3 batches and wrap each in saran wrap and then flatten into disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Remove dough from fridge one piece at a time. Working on generously floured piece of parchment paper already positioned on a sheet pan, roll dough until ¼ inch thick. Brush off extra flour and pop into freezer for 10 minutes.
5. Remove dough and cut desired shapes. Place cutouts onto new parchment lined sheet and bake for 6 minutes, rotate, then bake another 4-6 minutes, or until beginning to crisp, but not get dark on the edges.
6. Using extra dough, re-roll and chill until all dough is used.
Let baked cookies cool before icing.
*For a cookie ornament, poke small hole through top of cookie with a dowel, small end of a pastry tip, or pencil before baking.
7. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat sugar, egg powder, and 1/3 cup water until smooth. If mixture is too dry and lumpy add a bit more water, teaspoon at a time. If it is too thin, whip for 2-3 minutes and add more sugar as needed.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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