Posted on Wednesday, 22nd December 2010 by Grace Massa Langlois
The kids made a list of their “Best Christmas Cookies” and “Mémère’s” Soft Molasses Cookies were at the top of the list.
“Mémère” (French for Grandmother) generally sandwiches the cookies with jam but I wanted to put my own spin on the Molasses Cookies; I rolled the cookies using my new Christmas Cookie Cutters – Bonhommes de pain d’épice (Gingerbread Men), pièce canne de bonbons (Candy Canes), Arbres de Noël (Christmas Trees) and pièce Bonhommes de neige (Snowmen) and then decorated them with Royal Icing tinted in various colours.
Plus I had to do something with all the cookie decorations I purchased throughout the month. I guess I went a little overboard. By the time I was done gathering all the decorations I realized rather quickly I had enough to decorate probably 2000 cookies (I am not exaggerating!), if not more.
And, believe it or not, are you sitting down? This is the very first time I’ve rolled and decorated cookies! I was hoping (actually, secretly praying!) my daughter, Liana, was going to join in on the experience. I knew with her artistic ability the cookies would look phenomenal. Guess what? Liana was not at all interested in the making and decorating of the cookies. Apparently, she was, however, interested in the eating.
Mysteriously most of the Christmas Trees went missing, leaving me only a precious few. I learned my lesson; bake and decorate on the same day!
I’ve also learned I really must take a decorating class – the sooner the better. Piping is not my strong suit! It took me the better part of a day to pipe and decorate 40+ cookies.
I can only hope by the time I’m done using all the decorations I’ll be an expert cookie decorator.
Thank you Mémère! The Soft Molasses Cookies were a hit; full of flavour and the texture was just right.
If you’re looking for other Holiday Sweets, please take a look my Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Marshmallow Filling and foolproof Holiday Fudge – Chocolate Marshmallow and White Chocolate.
Soft Molasses Cookies
Makes about 40 X 4½-inch cookies
- 4 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons ginger
- 3 teaspoons allspice
- 1 cup shortening
- ½ cup caster (superfine granules) sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with non-stick baking paper, set aside.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice, into a large bowl. Whisk to combine well, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together the shortening and both sugars (caster and brown).
- Beat in molasses until well combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl with a flexible spatula as needed.
- In a small bowl, stir together the water and baking soda until the baking soda has dissolved. Add to the molasses mixture and beat until combined (scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed).
- Reduce speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
- Divide dough into thirds.
- Drop by tablespoons full and flatten with the bottom of a glass or roll out dough onto a lightly floured work surface to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on lined baking sheet, spacing 2-inches apart.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched (do not over-bake). ***See Recipe Notes***
- Transfer to wire rack to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes.
- Remove cookies from sheet and return to wire racks to cool completely.
- Decorate cookies with royal icing or sandwich together with your favourite jam or spiced chocolate ganache.
- Store cookies in airtight containers.
If you prefer a crispier cookie, roll dough a little thinner or bake a few minutes longer.
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) warm water
- 5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 8 cups (1 kg or 2.25 lbs) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water and meringue powder; whisk together by hand for 30 seconds.
- Add the cream of tarter and continue to whisk by hand for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar all at once and the vanilla; attach bowl to mixer.
- Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on lowest speed for 10 minutes (make sure to mix for the entire 10 minutes). The Royal Icing will be thick and creamy.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel at all times to prevent the icing from drying out.
- Tint the icing with desired colours.
- Thin Royal Icing by adding a few drops of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. ***See Recipe Notes***
- Decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles, sanding sugar, dragées and candy.
Testing Icing for Proper Consistency
Run a butter knife through the icing and count to 10.
If the icing surface becomes smooth anywhere between 5 to 10 seconds the icing is ready to use.
If it takes longer to smooth, the icing is too thick; add a few more drops of water and repeat test. Continue until proper consistency is reached.
If icing smoothes between 1 to 4 seconds, the icing is too runny; add confectioners’ sugar in small amounts and repeat test. Continue until proper consistency is reached.
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Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, chocolate frosting, Christmas Cookies, Christmas recipes, cooking, dessert, desserts, food, food photography, frosting, Holiday Cookies, Holiday recipes, icing, individual dessert
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes