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Bear Truth Holiday Treat Recipes (Gingerbread & Sugar Cookies, Yummm!)

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Bear Truth Holiday Treat Recipes (Gingerbread & Sugar Cookies, Yummm!)

Jordynn Leigh, Staff Writer

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Christmas is famous for many things, Santa, the presents, and a time for family traditions. One of most people’s favorite though is the delicious holiday treats. From gingerbread cookies to chocolate peppermint truffles holiday baking is always a fun tradition.

Gingerbread cookies is a very famous holiday treat. So if you want to make a simple gingerbread men or elaborate gingerbread houses, here is a recipe from cooking.nytimes.com,

INGREDIENTS

  • 1cup light brown sugar
  • 1cup light molasses
  • 1cup vegetable shortening
  • 1tablespoon baking soda
  • 1egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼teaspoon salt
  • 2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1tablespoon ground ginger
  • ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 to 4 ½cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling dough
  • Royal icing and cinnamon candies, for decorating, optional.

PREPARATION

  1. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, molasses and shortening. Place over medium-low heat and stir just until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and mix in baking soda and 1/4 cup cold water. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add egg, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and cloves; stir to mix well. Add 4 cups flour and mix well, adding up to 1/2 cup more if dough seems sticky. Shape into a ball, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and cut into gingerbread boy shapes with a 5-inch-long cookie cutter. Arrange on baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart, and bake until risen and no longer shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow cookies to cool. If desired, decorate with royal icing and cinnamon candies. Store in an airtight container.

The basic sugar cookie is also always a great choice, especially if you are into decorating more. There are endless options with shapes and decorations you could use on these delicious cookies. So if you are looking for some festive decorating fun, follow these simple recipes for the cookies and royal icing from inkatrinaskitchen.com. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes
  3. Beat in extracts and egg.
  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
  5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

NOTES:

  • You can use salted butter (just out the 1/2 teaspoon salt). In the past I’ve omitted the salt and the recipe is fine. It is more bland but these cookies are made for frosting.
  • If you must chill the dough just leave it on the counter top for 10 minutes before rolling or work the dough with your hands for a few minutes.
  • You can omit the almond extract if you do not have it available, however the taste is really fantastic with the hint of almond.
  • Keep in mind that the recipe yield will vary according to how thick you roll your cookies and how large or small your cutters are.
  • Bake for 6 minutes to test. They should be soft. Leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cool completely. If you reach 7-8 minutes and the edges turn brown your cookie will be crisper.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 Cup warm water (plus more for thinning to flood consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla or almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Add the water and extract slowly. Beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).

NOTES:

  • This makes a very stiff icing that will harden as it dries. You will use this to outline your cookies (with a squeeze bottle or piping bag). Using the same batch of icing, add drops of water to thin the icing to flood consistency and fill in your cookie.
  • I always make WAY too much royal icing so this is the solution for me. If you need a large batch I would suggest bumping the powdered sugar up to 4 cups, the meringue powder to 3 Tablespoons, and the water to just under 1/2 cup. Flavor to your taste.

Christmas baking is a fun and festive tradition and those are just two of the many yummy treats for the holidays. If baking isn’t on your Christmas to-do list already, start a new tradition for your family by trying something delicious this holiday season.

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Bear Truth Holiday Treat Recipes (Gingerbread & Sugar Cookies, Yummm!)