4 Christmases ago, in 2008 I started making little gingerbread centerpieces as Christmas decorations. This year I'm head over heels for these and I've prepared at least a dozen new designs to share with you in upcoming weeks.
Before I dive in I wanted share with you a very basic gingerbread dough recipe I use for all my centerpieces. It can also be used to make gingerbread houses or bird house if you'd like to make those. This dough doesn't have any leaving agent so it doesn't spread in baking, especially important when making gingerbread houses or other complex structures that require exactness. Though it is edible I wouldn't recommend munching on these, they are pretty hard. In my recipe I use double, sometime triple amounts of spices you'll find in other recipes. Once gingerbread is baked, decorated and assembled, you can enjoy the beauty of finished piece as well as wonderful gingerbread scent.
Gingerbread Construction Dough (for houses, centerpieces. This dough is not for eating, doesn't contain any leaving agent, cookies once cooled are hard)
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, spices, set aside
- Cream crisco or other shortening with sugar until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add egg and molasses and mix until smooth
- On low speed, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until two are well combined.
- Turn the dough onto a work surface and give it a little knead so it comes completely together.
- You are now ready to cut out your cookies.
- Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, depends on the size of the cookies. Sometime during baking little bubbles can form on the surface of the cookie. Using a toothpick, make a pinhole in the cookie, where the bubble appears to be forming, while still hot to deflate the bubble.
- When using small pieces for your gingerbread centerpieces, you need to watch them carefully as they bake, they will be done in less time. Thicker the cookie more time needed to bake them, .I usually bake small pieces on the same baking sheet and large pieces on the another sheet.Cool the cookies completely before going to the next step.
|Also featured in 1,000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes (1000 Series)|