Shhhh, secret santa!

I am participating in secret santa at my work this week, and we are not supposed to spend too much moola on gifts, but make them from the “heart”.

For one idea, I cut up recipe cards and wrote up about 15 different cold-weather treats to try this winter.

This is the second idea me thinks I will try for tomorrow:

Gingerbread Cookies in a Jar

Source

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 gingerbread boy-shaped cookie cutter

Use a clean 1 quart jar and press each layer down firmly. Put in half of the flour along with the baking powder and baking soda. Add the spices and the remaining flour. Add the brown sugar last. Tie a ribbon around the top of the jar and attach the cookie cutter and the directions below.

Attach these directions to the jar:

Gingerbread Cookies
Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Mix in 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup molasses and 1 egg. Mix until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes. Place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Decorate with icing.

Advertisements

Cookies!

Phew, it’s been a very busy few days, and it’s a very clear indication that holiday season is now in FULL swing. Another indication is my depleting bank account. Ouch!

In order for this holiday season to be complete, I need 2 things:

1. A significant snowfall. Perhaps coming this evening into tomorrow morning.

2. Holiday baking! Well, I am not the seasoned baker, that’s for sure, but I love making these relatively easy Gingerbread People. (Thanks, Martha!)

Source

Gingerbread People:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons powdered egg whites (meringue powder)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and molasses. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw before baking).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. Working with one disk at a time, place dough on lightly floured parchment paper, and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed. Using paper, lift dough onto two baking sheets; freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove paper and dough from baking sheets. Using a long offset spatula, loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and brush off any excess flour. Transfer to baking sheets. (Gather scraps, briefly freeze, and re-roll.)
  4. For softer cookies, bake 8 to 10 minutes; for crunchier cookies, bake 11 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Make icing: In a large bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, powdered egg whites, and 1/4 cup water (if needed, adjust consistency with confectioners’ sugar). Transfer icing to a pastry bag with a small tip, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and snip a small hole in one corner. Decorate cookies as desired.