It has been quite a while since I made gingerbread cookies. I did not make it last December as we had just discovered Ikea’s VINTERSAGA Ginger thins. The spiced (ginger, cinnamon, clove) biscuits were so good that I forgot all about making my own gingerbread cookies. This year we did not have the opportunity to make a trip to Ikea so I decided to make some myself.
As usual, I randomly picked a gingerbread recipe from the Internet. After browsing the web and clicking on a few sites, I narrowed down to the recipe from Sally’s baking recipes. I believed it might be the recipe profile photo of chubby colourfully decorated gingerbread men that called to me. As luck would have it, it was a great choice.
It was a classic gingerbread recipe with the usual spices: ginger, cloves and cinnamon. However, there was no nutmeg; instead, allspice was used. I had all the spices but was missing molasse. It was an ingredient that I knew that I would not be able to find in the local supermarkets, based on previous ingredient searching experience. Instead, I replaced molasse with the maple syrup that I had at home for pancakes.
Sally’s recipe stated that the cookie dough should be left chilled for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. So, wrapped in cling film, the light brown cookie dough was kept in the fridge for two days before I baked it. As I was making and tasting the sweet yet spiced up cookie dough (confession: more tasting than needed), I had a feeling that the cookies would turn out well.
Two days later, also the last teaching day of 2023 at the university, I took out the chilled cookie dough. It was not as hard or dry as I had feared. With the various Christmas theme shaped cookie cutters, I cut out the gingerbread cookies—gingerbread man, ribbon, Christmas tree, star and snow flake. Other than using tiny chocolate chips to serve as the eyes and the coat buttons of the gingerbread men, I did not bother much with decorating the cookies.
The cookies were a hit with both Silviu and myself. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Between the two of us, we finished the first batch (quite a big batch…at least 25 to 30 cookies) within a week! We decided that I would make a second batch so that we could bring some to Grenoble (we would be travelling to Grenoble for the New Year) and leave them there for him to snack after the holidays.
For the second batch of cookies, I made an error of rolling the cookie dough too thin and using the same oven temperature and timing. Instead of the previous “crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside,” the cookies became “crunchy on both the outside and the inside!” Moreover, the golden-brown hue of the cookies became more brown. Nevertheless, the taste of the cookies were still rather very flavourful!