For many, Gingerbread is a holiday tradition. Some families prefer to make cookies in their favorite shapes while others tackle on the construction of a gingerbread house. Although gingerbread is traditionally consumed in and around the holidays and then forgotten for another year, it is also great to enjoy all winter long. You can easily extend these holiday favorites all winter by simply changing the cutter used. I opted for a star, but some other fun cutters for winter include mittens, snowflakes, and even squirrels.
As great as finding fun winter cutters can be sometimes one is simply too exhausted to meddle with cut out cookies at all. If that is the case with any of you, this recipe is the answer to your prayers as it also makes perfect slice-and-bake cookies (no rolling, cutting, or mess required). If you are going to forgo the cutters, simply shape the dough into two (8 inch) round logs. Chill the logs for 2 hours and then make slices ¼ in. thick. Proceed with the recipe as normal after that.
Another great feature of these cookies is how far in advance you can prepare them. I recommend preparing no more than 5 days ahead and storing them in an airtight container until ready to decorate. Cookies may be decorated only 1 day ahead of serving. Unfortunately, the downfall of these cookies comes after they are decorated, as the icing is fragile and can easily be damaged during storage and transport. Place a piece of wax paper between each layer and place new layers gently upon previous layers in order to reduce the odds of damage.
This recipe will make approximately 4 dozen cookies and each serving allows 2 cookies to be consumed (making you feel more indulgent when you really are not). I truly enjoyed sharing this recipe with you and hope you can try it sometime this winter for your own family and friends. If not this winter, I hope you will return next year in order to prepare for your own holiday celebrations. Kids and adults alike will surely enjoy them!
Skinny Iced Gingerbread Cookies
- 10 oz. All-Purpose Flour (approximately 2 ¼ cups)
- 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ Ground Nutmeg
- ½ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
- ½ cup Butter; softened
- 3 tbsp. Molasses
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
- 1 tbsp. Milk (1%)
- Whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown sugar, butter, and molasses. Beat the mixture on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat mixture until combined. Adjust the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, beating until well combined. Divide the dough equally into two portions. Gently press each dough half into a circle on a sheet of plastic wrap (dough will be sticky). Wrap dough tightly and chill for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll one dough portion to ¼ in. thickness. Use your preferred cutter to form cookies. Place cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet 1 inch apart from each other. Repeat process with both dough portions, re-rolling and cutting as necessary, until you have approximately 48 cookies. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Remove cookies from oven and let stand for a minute or two. Remove cookies from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cookies have cooled completely, prepare the icing. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe icing on cookies as desired.
Weight Watchers: 2 Smart Points, 2 Points Plus, or 1 Traditional Point
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MARCIA WHYTE SMART
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS