These soft gingerbread cookies were my daughter’s favorite in the assortment! I bought Nordic Ware snowflake cookie stamps after seeing them on the beautiful blog The View from Great Island.
The recipe was adapted from Ottolenghi’s dessert cookbook, Sweet, via theviewfromgreatisland.com. I modified the method using another post on the same blog that used cookie stamps.
I also used a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop instead of a 2 tablespoon scoop, resulting in less of the snowflake imprint being transferred. (I need a 2 tablespoon scoop!) I would also thin the glaze even more next time so that it would be more transparent, revealing more of the pattern of the stamp.
Alternatively, instead of the glaze, each cookie could be sprinkled with additional granulated sugar prior to baking.
Yield: 18 cookies (using 1 1/2 T scoop) (6 of each design)
For the Cookies:
- 6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 packed cup plus 2 T (7 T) dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (5 T) molasses (do not use blackstrap, which is bitter)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 T all-purpose flour
- 1 T Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To Roll and Stamp:
- small bowl of granulated sugar
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 T warm water, plus more for thinning
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put your cookie stamps in the freezer to chill.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, and molasses in a stand mixer (or with a hand held mixer).
- Beat in the egg yolk.
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low until the dough comes together.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until all the floury crumbles are incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk. I did not have to chill my dough before rolling, but if yours is very soft, you may want to.
- Use a medium (1 1/2 or 2 tablespoon) cookie scoop to portion out the dough.
- Roll the dough into balls and coat in granulated sugar.
- Stamp the balls of dough with your cookie stamp. Gently pry it off the cookie stamp by just nudging one corner. The cookie should come right off the stamp. (at this point, you can sprinkle the top with additional sugar if not making the glaze)
- Place the stamped cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes. (I placed them on a parchment paper-lined cutting board.)
- Place the cold cookies onto fresh parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to over bake these cookies, so do a test cookie or two to figure out the best timing for your oven. The cookies will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but will firm up as they cool.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the pan before carefully transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- When the cookies are cool, whisk the glaze ingredients together until they become a smooth thin glaze. Add more water if the glaze is too thick, it should have the consistency of maple syrup or a thin honey.
- Brush the cooled cookies with the glaze. You want the glaze to be thick enough to settle into the design for a beautiful emphasis. It will become more translucent as it dries.
- Let the glaze set up fully before serving or storing.