Spicy Ginger Houses
cup packed brown sugar
teaspoons finely ground black pepper
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
Red cinnamon candies or other small candies (optional)
recipe Royal Icing (see recipe below) or purchased decorator icing (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, ginger, pepper, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
- Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours or until easy to handle.
- Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 6x4-inch house-shaped cookie cutter, cut out dough. cut out small heart-shaped windows from houses if desired. Cut additional heart from scraps for decorations. Place house shapes on the prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart; place heart cutouts on a separate prepared cookie sheet because they may bake at a rate different from the heart shapes.
- Bake house shapes in a 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until tops of cookies appear dry (bake heart shapes about 8 minutes). Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
- When cookies are cool, decorate if desired with heart cutouts, candies, and icing, attaching candies and cutouts with the icing. Makes about 8 (6-inch) cookies.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons meringue powder*. Add 3 tablespoons cold water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture is combined; then beat on medium to high speed for 5 to 8 minutes or until mixture forms stiff peaks. (If mixture seems stiff while beating, add water, 1/2 teaspoons at a time. Icing should be fairly thick for piping. For a thinner glazing consistency, stir in a little more water after beating.) When not using, keep tightly covered to prevent it from drying out; keep refrigerated. Makes 2 cups.
From the Test Kitchen
Look for meringue powder at kitchen, cake-decorating, and crafts shops.
Nutrition Facts(Spicy Ginger Houses)
- Per serving:
- 404 kcal cal.,
- 18 g fat
- (11 g sat. fat,
- 73 mg chol.,
- 204 mg sodium,
- 56 g carb.,
- 2 g fiber,
- 5 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet