Chocolate spice gingerbread

It’s a bit belated to be posting about gingerbread, since this is really a Christmas baked good more than anything else, but I have to share this recipe regardless because it’s still very cold where most of my friends live and gingerbread is a great winter dessert as well.  Plus, it’s incredibly fun to decorate.  I tend to shy away from cookie cutter cookies because the decoration can be time-consuming, but when my former roommates got me a gift of hilarious gingerbread men missing arms, legs, and heads, I knew I absolutely had to make this gingerbread.  This particular recipe caught my eye too because it added cocoa powder into a traditional recipe and as we know, all things get better when chocolate is added.  

The result is a delicious gingerbread with smokier notes than a typical cookie (yes that’s right I can describe cookies like I can talk about wine) due to the dark molasses and cocoa powder.  I also really loved the icing recipe that went along with it.  I typically get bored decorating cookies but I had way too much fun with these.  Who wants to make smiley faced gingerbread all the time when you can make them terribly sad or angry due to their lack of limbs?   I highly recommend getting the cookie enthusiast in your life funny cookie cutters, because if they are anything like me, they will just go to town on a batch of cookies like this and you will probably benefit from it.

Chocolate spice gingerbread (adapted from Spicy Ice Cream)

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, softened and chopped (this is basically one stick)
  • 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups (350g) plain flour
  • 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or nutmeg (or both)

Royal Icing

  • 1 pasteurised egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice – I didn’t have this so I literally just used the egg white and the sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 190ºC (370ºF).  Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and creamy.  Add the molasses, followed by the baking soda and spices, and finally the cocoa and flour.  Stir until mixture just comes together to form a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out dough until it is about 5 mm thick (about 1/4 of an inch).  Use a gingerbread man or your choice of shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes.  Place the shapes onto baking trays lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes or until golden around the edges.  Let them cool before frosting them. 

To make the royal icing, place the egg white and lemon juice (if using) in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy.  I used my electric hand mixer and whipped it until it was thicker but hadn’t yet formed stiff peaks.  Add the icing sugar slowly and fold in until the mixture is combined and smooth.  Use a piping bag or a zip lock bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the icing and decorate the gingerbread.

IMG_6674Adding the molasses to the butter sugar mixture

IMG_6675Adding in spices, cocoa, and flour to form the dough

IMG_6685Used my hilarious dismembered gingerbread cookie cutters to create all the shapes – ready to go into the oven

IMG_6689Final products decorated – I got a little carried away.  Obviously they all had to be sad or angry since their limbs were missing…

This is among the best gingerbread I’ve ever tasted.  I loved the darker flavour of it due to the added cocoa and it was just crunchy enough without being too hard.  I also loved the icing recipe because it was super easy to decorate them and the icing held its shape really well.  I don’t make gingerbread often but the next time I do I will definitely be using this recipe!

One year ago: Yellow cake and assorted frostings

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