Makes about 24 medium size cookies. Popular for holidays and year round.
Makes 1 large gingerbread house.
This recipe can be also used to make delicious edible gingerbread houses. Check notes.
In a medium bowl, sift flour (3 cups and 1/3cup), baking soda (1tsp), ground cinnamon (1tsp and 1/2tsp), ground star anise (1/2tsp), ginger (1/4tsp), cloves (1/4tsp), salt (pinch).
Use 1/8tsp to 1/4tsp baking soda when making an edible gingerbread house.
Cream room temperature butter (5tbsp) and powdered sugar (1cup and 1/2cup). Beat till fluffy. Then beat in eggs (2 whole eggs), one at a time. Scrapping bowl few times. Then gradually pour it honey (3 tbsp), vanilla extract (1tsp) and lemon zest (optional). Scrape the bowl with a spatula and beat for a minute or so.
Then on low speed and gradually add flour sifted with spices and baking soda. Beat till combined. Invert dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute. If dough appears too sticky add little more flour. Wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F - 360F
Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 2/16 (3mm). If needed very lightly flour your bottom parchment paper. Roll the dough into approximately 3-4 mm thick. Cookies puff up in the oven. For even thickness use rolling guides.
Cut out cookies and transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake cookies of 6-8 minutes until puffy and golden.
Larger cookies may take little longer to bake
Try to bake smaller shapes and larger shapes separately, smaller shapes will be baked before larger ones.
Remove from the oven, let cool for couple minuter on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack
To create shiny finish on cookies, brush the cookie right after you take them of the oven while they are still hot. Be sure not to add too much egg wash as it can drip down the sides and under the cookies.
This recipe can be use to make tasty gingerbread houses. When using to make gingerbread house use only 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking powder.
Roll the cookie dough for gingerbread houses to 1/8 inch (3mm) to 4mm. Bake large gingerbread house panels for 10-14 minutes, or until golden and light brown. Smaller cookies take shorter time to bake. Let panels cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
I love using star anise but if you don't have it or can't find it's okay to skip it. Flavor of finished cookies will be slightly different but still very tasty because of other spices used.
I use a small coffee grinder. Then I sift them thru a fine mesh sieve.
Stored in an airtight container they last for up to 4 weeks.
Decorate cookies before baking with walnuts, pecans, almond or dried fruit. Brush either little bit of egg wash on the cookies before they are baked and then attach nuts or fruit. Or brush cookies with little bit of water instead.
Yes, cookies bake slightly domed. They are known for its rounded edges. If you plan to decorate these with simple piped designs having the dough still exposed decorate the rounded top. Especially if you brushed it with an egg wash it looks very pretty. However when decorating a whole cookie with icing you have to careful not to add too much icing onto the cookie or it overflow. Best course of action is to decorate the underside as it's flat. I used this method to make my Easter Gingerbread House. Or use slightly thicker icing to outline and then flood with thinner icing.
You you can use this recipe to make a gingerbread house. Use 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking soda instead of 1tsp. Here is Step by Step tutorial on how to build a Simple Edible Gingerbread House using this recipe.