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How to Make Gingerbread Cookie Dough

Learn how to make gingerbread cookie dough from pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse in this Howcast video.


Katie: Hi. I'm Katie Risnasi. Today I'm going to show you how to make Gingerbread Cookie Dough. This is probably my favorite cookie of all of the holiday cookies, so I'm very excited.

I'm going to start with one stick of softened butter. So I just let the butter sit on the counter until it's nice and soft, about half an hour. And I'm going to start by creaming that, just until it's smooth. And because it's softened that should go very quickly. And it has. It's ready to go.

So now I'm going to start adding in my other ingredients. So I have some brown sugar. And this is a third of a cup packed brown sugar. I have a lovely third of a cup of molasses, which is also known as the greatest thing ever. I'm obsessed with molasses. That goes right in.

And now my spices. So I'm starting with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. You could play with that. I've had very good results with pumpkin pie spice, which is a nice blend of spices. But just as much or as little spice as you like. For me, it's the more the better, but it's up to you. A little touch of nutmeg. Some vanilla bean paste, which is my favorite. It's a little better than vanilla extract because you get all those vanilla bean seeds. Salt, very important in desserts, balancing out those sweet flavors, those rich flavors. And also one egg. Going right in.

So I'm going to beat those together first, and then I'm going to add the rest of my dry ingredients.

OK. So we're ready to add the rest of the ingredients. You can see everything is nice and smooth. And here I have two cups of all purpose flour, going right in. And a half a teaspoon of baking soda. So that's going to be the leavening ingredient in the cookies. You're going to beat those to combine. And this should go very quickly. And I'm going to get ready to roll out my dough. If you have time, you can let the dough chill once it's done for about half an hour until it's nice and firm. But if you don't have time, just get ready by flouring your surface. Not too much flour, but just enough. And I've got my rolling pin ready to go, and we're going to roll out our cookies.

So my dough is ready. I'm going to pull all of those extra bits off of the paddle. Take my dough out here. And you can see it's nice and combined. I'm just going to go in with my hand and really pull it together, make sure everything from the bottom of the bowl is mixed in with everything on the top of the bowl, and just that your dough is smooth. And then turn it right out onto your counter.

I'm messy already. But this is a great pliable dough to work with. And you can see once I start to bring it together, it's really nice and firm and smooth, and it's just going to be a pleasure to roll. So I'm just going to re-dust the surface, and go in with my rolling pin. And you don't want to roll these too thin. I like my Gingerbread Men to be a little bit on the chubby side. I'm looking for about a quarter inch thickness. You can go a little less, a little more, depending on your likes or dislikes. But keep in mind, the thinner the cookie, the more likely, especially if you're shipping them, or giving them to someone, and you're transporting them, the thinner they are the more likely that they will break on the way.

So we're ready. I'm just going to take my cookie cutter, and a good trick is to always flour your cookie cutter a little bit before you go in to cut the cookies, so this way the cutter won't stick to the dough, and you won't lose any of these arms or legs when you go in.

But just press down, all the way down to the edge and lift up. And when I cut, I'm going to cut these as close as possible, so this way I won't have too much dough to bring back together and re-roll afterwards.

OK. So I think that's all I'm going to get without losing arms or legs here. So I'm just going to get rid of the scraps of dough. And again, you could definitely re-roll these. Don't feel like you have to lose those scraps. Those are perfect for rolling again. You'll get even more cookies out of it.

And then, with a nice off-set spatula, I've got my cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, I'm just going to lift up these gingerbread men and put them right onto the cookie sheet. And this spatula really lets you pick them up without messing up their shape. You can see, especially if the dough isn't chilled. If I went to pick these up with my hands, they would break, they would warp. So this spatula really keeps things safe.

So I'm going to bake these at 375 degrees, just until they start to brown a little bit around the edges, and then we'll decorate.

So while those are in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, I'm just going to re-roll my scraps, get those in also, and then we'll be ready to decorate.

So that's how you make Gingerbread Cookie Dough.

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