Share A Cookie Share A Poem

It is predicted to snow here in upstate New York where I live. Lots and lots of snow are forecast. I’ve just made some soup to keep away the cold, ready to watch and wait–relieved and grateful I do not have to travel home from the holidays today.

And I can happily respond to a reader, who sweetly asked for one of my recipes from my Edible Christmas book. I am always delighted when this happens. I do this, with pleasure. Here it is, followed by a fitting poem. I invite you to share a recipe and a poem as well.

Gingerbread cookies by cosmo cookie

Gingerbread cookies Courtesy of http://cosmocookie.blogspot.com/

Gingerbread Cookies

Makes about 16 5-inch-tall cookies

This mildly spiced dough makes soft, puffy cookie folk. If you like your gingerbread cookies thin and crispy, just roll out  the dough to a 1/8″ thickness.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Piping Icing

2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons half & half, approximately
Optional: currants, raisins, candied fruit, candies, licorice strips and colored sugars for garnish

To make the gingerbread cookies: In a  large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and continue beating until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Gradually work the flour mixture into the creamed mixture to form a soft dough.  Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap completely. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter two baking sheets. On a well-floured surface, roll out half the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies. Gather up the scraps of dough and work into the remaining dough. Repeat the process until all the dough is used. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until just firm when pressed in the center with your finger, about 8 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely.

To make the piping icing: Stir the confectioners sugar and half & half together in a small bowl. You may have to add more half & half by the teaspoon until you get an icing of piping consistency.

Transfer the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip, such as Ateco Number 4. Pipe the icing onto the cooled cookies, decorating as desired with the currants, raisins, candied fruit, candies, licorice strips, and colored sugars.

And now, the promised poem…

The Runaway Cookies
By Anonymous

The cookie jar people
Hopped out one night
When the cookie jar lid
Was not on tight.

The gingerbread man
Opened raisin eyes
And looked about
In great surprise.

The frosted bunny
Twinkled his nose
And danced around
On his cookie toes.

The sugary duck
Began to quack
And shake the sugar
Off his back.

The cinnamon bear
Could only grunt
For he was too fat
To do a stunt.

The coconut lamb
Jumped up so high
That his little white tail
Flew toward the sky.

They were all so happy
To be at play
That they danced and danced
And danced away.

They danced away
So very far
That they never came back
To the cookie jar.