....... Divertimento: Gingerbread men

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Gingerbread men

Last week, I bought a gingerbread cookie kit (see post 5th December). Well, I have made them and here is what they looked like cooling on a silicone non stick baking mat.

I must say that making them is trickier than I thought. The mixture was easy enough to make. However, the skill is in the rolling out and cutting. First, the recipe says roll out the dough to 3/16 inch thick. Well, if you do that, you do not get the 24 gingerbread men you are supposed to - 12 back (plain outline) pieces and 12 top pieces with feature (per picture). The dough really has to be about 2/16 inch thick to get that many. I do prefer them thinner as they are crunchier when baked. Also, they look better when you assemble them as instructed ie. sandwich two pieces with icing (see picture on the packet). Also, I found that the dough was a lot smoother with some extra kneading. I found this out after I cut out the first batch of cookies and was re-using the leftover dough. So, another tip is, knead the dough lightly before you use it. I also found that getting the dough to be evenly thick was a LOT harder than I expected. This would not be as important for small cookies but as the gingerbread cookies were rather large any unevenness was very noticeable.

Much to my detriment, I found that it is critical to be very careful when transferring the cut dough to the baking tray. Any movement and you will have trouble matching the back to the front pieces when you sandwich them. As you can see from my picture above, the legs of my gingerbread men are not all spaced apart equally. So, for my next attempt, I will use a paper template to check that the cookies are placed correctly .......... or just cut out plain outline pieces and add in the features (eyes, mouth, buttons etc) with icing and candy.

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