This gingerbread cookie recipe from Martha Stewart is a definite winner. Perfectly spiced gingerbread cut into tree shapes, then glazed with a little lemon and powdered sugar mixture and then sprinkled with coarse sugar for a little extra sparkle … this is one case where it’s okay to see the forest for the trees. (I never really understood what that meant, anyway.)
The one problem with my Christmas cookie repertoire is that it’s a little heavy-handed on the chocolate. I know massive amounts of chocolate is generally a very, very good thing … but Christmas cookie platters need variety! Pine bark (chocolate and caramel), Double chocolate salted peanut bark (duh), secret kiss cookies (hidden chocolate) … the chocolate can get a little tiresome, no?
But I like making what I like. And I like chocolate.
I usually break it up with some Dolly Parton sugar cookies, but this year I decided to try this recipe that I saw in the back of a Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine. They’re cute, they’re festive, they’re not chocolate. Score!
And as it turns out, they’re just as tasty as chocolate, but, of course, in their own way (nothing is like chocolate, after all). I love the spiciness of the gingerbread countered by the hit of lemony glaze. This may just become a permanent member of my holiday cookie collection, leaving me time to worry about other pressing Christmas problems, like, whether or not I should get the bird a gift because it’s just not fair that the cat and dog get something. Or whether or not to put lights on my little pink tinsel tree. Or how to help my guy realize that many of the neighbors, yes, do a better job with the lights on their houses, but that it in no way is a direct reflection his manhood and how it compares to theirs.
Here’s the recipe.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt
- 1⅓ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Coarse sugar for sanding
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a stand mixer or a large bowl (with a hand mixer), beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about three minutes.
- Add the egg and molasses and beat until blended, scraping down sides as necessary.
- Place a sifter or sieve over the bowl, and add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to the sifter. Sift onto the wet ingredients. Sprinkle over the salt, then beat just until combined.
- Form into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour, or up to three days.
- Remove disc from fridge and cut into fourths.
- Roll each fourth about ¼ inch thick, and with a knife or cookie cutter, cut into tree shapes.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes (until they’re firm and just starting to get golden at edges).
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the glaze: mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cookies. I place the icing in a Ziploc bag, cut the corner off, and drizzle lines of icing over the cookies that way. Easy peasy.
- Immediately sprinkle on a little sugar.
- Let icing harden before serving.
- Keeps up to one week in an airtight container.
Originally posted on The Hazel Bloom December 19, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty December 11, 2012. More about this