Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

So my daughter came home from school with one of those individually wrapped, soft, iced gingerbread men cookies that had red and green sprinkles on it.

I love those things.

And I suddenly realized I hadn’t made gingerbread cookies in years.  Seriously:  years.

So I tweaked an old recipe, rolled out the dough thickly, and dipped them in some royal icing that got a touch of sugar sprinkles.

Uh… YUM.

And I made them miniature.  I did this mostly because I was looking for an excuse to use the miniature cookie cutters I bought on clearance last year, but it turned out to be a wonderful idea.

Bite-sized deliciousness.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Look at all the spices and all that sweetness!

You can just tell they’re going to be awesome.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

It’s a soft dough.

This means it needs to go in the fridge for at least 2 hours before you roll it out.

And you’ll need to sprinkle lots of flour over the counter before you roll it out, and flour the rolling pin, and probably add a little more as you’re rolling.

But that’s okay:  there isn’t that much flour in the recipe itself, so using the extra flour to roll it all out without sticking makes it just the right consistency.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

And you really need to roll them out quite thickly to get that pillowy softness in the finished cookie.

Nearly a half-inch.  At least a quarter inch.  At minimum.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Once the cookies are cooled, just dip them in the royal icing.

Use a fork to stir the icing in between dipping the cookies, and also to scrape excess icing off of the cookies just after dipping them.  You don’t need to scrape the fork directly across the surface of the cookie – just close to it.  If there’s too much icing, it’ll ooze all of the edges and make a mess.

A thin coating is really all you need.  And it spreads as it sits.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Be sure to add the sprinkles before the icing starts to harden.

I usually dip about 3 or 4 cookies before sprinkling them.

To make my red and green sprinkles, I simply mixed some red and some green sugar sprinkles together in a small bowl ahead of time.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Don’t they look yummy?

I could seriously have eaten all of the cookies by myself.

Luckily, I had help.  :)

But the recipe makes a ton.  Like 12 dozen miniature {1-inch} cookies.  Enough to feed an army.  Or 2 or 3 over-stressed moms.

Either way – seriously worth a try.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Icing:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water
Red and green sugar sprinkles

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg with a mixer until creamy. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, switching to mixing by hand. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Generously sprinkle flour over prep space, including the rolling pin. Remove one portion of dough from refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/2-inch thickness, using extra flour if necessary to avoid sticking.

Use mini cookie cutters (or regular sized cutters, if desired) to cut shapes from dough. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies sit on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a consistency where a thick line of icing slowly and smoothly drips off of the fork when lifted from the bowl. Dip cookies into icing, wiping off excess with fork while cookie is still upside down over bowl. Immediately sprinkle with a mixture of red and green sugar sprinkles.

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For the free printable PDF version of the recipe, click here:  Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Decorated Rice Krispies Treat Marshmallow Christmas Trees

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

My girls love Rice Krispies Treats, but, then….. I’m pretty sure everyone else does, too.

I wanted to do something a little different with them this holiday, though, so we made Decorated Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees.

And they looked kinda cool.  :)

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

Anyway, it’s the normal base recipe for the trees, plus some food coloring, and then some royal icing and candy to decorate them.

For our Christmas tree “ornaments,” we used miniature M&Ms and Confetti Sprinkles.

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

I think the easiest way to color the trees is to mix the food coloring into the melted {melting} marshmallows before mixing in the cereal.

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees
Doesn’t that look neat?

And you can see I made the icing ahead of time.  If you do, too, just make sure you cover it with some plastic wrap to avoid the top layer drying out.

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

I drizzled the icing onto the trees with a spoon, decorating only 2 or 3 of them at a time.

The icing hardens pretty quickly – which is great for storing and eating them, but you have to decorate them quickly if you want the sprinkles and candy to stick.

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

Mostly, for the shaping of the trees, I did that part myself.  My 4yo didn’t really like the feel of it.

You need to coat your hands {quite heavily} with a nonstick cooking spray so that the marshmallow mixture doesn’t stick to you.

Then grab a handful of the stuff and shape it into a cone.  Voila.  Time to decorate.

THAT part my kids loved.

How to Make Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

Decorated Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

Tree Ingredients:
1 package (10 oz., about 40) marshmallows
3 Tbsp. butter
6 cups puffed rice cereal
Green food coloring

For the Icing and Decorations:
2 cups confectionery (powdered) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water
Green food coloring
Miniature M&Ms candies
Large or “confetti” sprinkles

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir in green food coloring (I used about 25 drops of liquid food coloring) and continue to stir until the marshmallows are completely melted and the color is fully incorporated. Stir continually to avoid burning the marshmallows at the bottom of the pan. (Alternatively, you can heat the butter and marshmallows in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 3 minutes, stirring after 2, then mix in the food coloring.)

Stir the cereal into the marshmallows and mix well with two spoons until all the cereal is coated. Allow to cool for a minute before handling – it will be hot!

Liberally spray your hands with a nonstick cooking spray. Grab a handful of the cereal mixture and shape into a cone. Allow to sit for a few minutes to continue cooling and to harden into shape while you make the icing.

Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a bowl with a fork. Stir in the extract and water, starting with 3 tablespoons and increasing the amount of water until you reach a consistency that is still slightly thick but easily pourable. Stir in green food coloring. (If you make the icing ahead of time, simply cover bowl with plastic wrap until you’re ready to use it.

Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over two or three cereal trees at a time, and sprinkle on some M&Ms and confetti sprinkles. Place a yellow M&M at the top to represent a star, if desired. Allow icing to dry.  Store covered at room temperature for a few days or in the freezer for 6 weeks. Makes about 15 trees.

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Click here for the free, printable PDF version of the recipe:  Decorated Rice Krispies Treats Christmas Trees

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe {Iced Autumn Leaves}

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

I am looooooving these amazing cookies!

I’ve been meaning to try a new Soft Sugar Cookie recipe for awhile and I’ve been browsing a bunch of sites and recipes, trying to get plenty of tips.

I settled on a recipe that incorporates sour cream and I rolled the dough thicker than I normally do, and cooked it a little less.

Pretty darn perfect.  :)

I typed up the recipe suggesting either vanilla or almond extract.  I prefer the almond, but my kids seemed to prefer the batch I made with vanilla.  Both were good, though.  The only thing to remember is that in the icing, you can use more vanilla than almond extract.  Most people seem to prefer it when the almond isn’t overpowering.

I used my royal icing for the cookies because it dries hard and shiny – which makes them easy to stack when storing/displaying/gifting – and because it’s easy to dip them right into the icing to make the whole ordeal quicker.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

I liked rolling it out between the waxed paper because it was easy to transfer to the fridge on the back of a cookie sheet, and then I could just pull it out and cut out my cookies.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

Re-rolling the dough {and having to add the flour to re-roll it} makes the cookies slightly tougher, or less soft, but I didn’t find the difference noticeable, really.

And I’m not about to throw out excess cookie dough.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

Make sure they’re nice and thick and that you don’t over bake them.  They should NOT be browning on the edges before you take them out – that will eliminate the softness you’re looking for.  In fact, they should look slightly underdone when you take them out.

You can use just about any cookie cutter shape you like.  Here are the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set that I used:

 Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set

Oh, and the recipe called for parchment lined pans.  I did bake the cookies on parchment paper when I used my regular pans, but what is pictured above are my aluminum Doughmakers Biscuit Sheets, which are textured and so the cookies don’t stick.  If you don’t have pans like these, use the parchment paper.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

I made the icing while the cookie dough was in the fridge and just set it to the side until later.

For best results:  cover with plastic wrap when not in use, and make sure to stir it often when dipping the cookies in it.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

You can see that I used plenty of gel coloring to make the icing bright and bold.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

You can put the icing into a plastic baggy or decorating bag and draw it onto the cookies instead {kind of like my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies} but I had been seeking a different method.  I found a few places – and a video – where people were suggesting that you just dip the cookies into the icing.

It worked.  Rather well.

I found that it worked best if you stirred the icing often, even between each dip, and if the cookies were thick enough, you didn’t even get any icing on your fingers.

If the icing was too thick, the cookie may stick a little, and you chance it breaking.  If your icing feels too thick and is pulling back when you try to lift out the cookie, sprinkle in a few DROPS of water and stir to thin it just a bit.  Not too much.

And I’ve tried both a skewer and a fork to scrape off the extra icing.  I prefer using the fork because it’s better than the skewer at efficiently stirring the color into the icing and re-stirring it every few minutes while icing the cookies.

When you lift up the cookie and scrape off the extra icing, don’t actually touch the cookie with the fork.  While still holding the cookie upside down, or tilted to the side, move the fork through any globs of icing that are above the surface of the cookie.  If there’s too much icing on them, it will drip over the sides and leave little puddles around the edges.

Then just let them sit on some wire racks until the icing hardens.  It will harden on the outside thinly at first, so don’t pack them away or plate them right away if you have the time to wait.  Let them sit for at least an hour, but a few hours is ideal.  Just in case.  You don’t want crushed/smudged icing after doing all that work.

And I might say, “all that work,” but, really, it’s easy to do.  It can take awhile due to all the steps, but it is SO worth it.

Because:  yum!

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
1/3 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Icing:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 teaspoon almond) extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, sour cream, and extract until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, then slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Separate the dough in half and roll each piece out between two sheets of waxed paper to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Refrigerate dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove dough from refrigerator and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. Gently gather scraps and reroll on a floured surface. Place cookies an inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Do not over bake! Take them out when they appear just about to be done, and before they brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Mix all of the icing ingredients together with a fork. Start with 3 tablespoons of water and add more, about a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until you reach a consistency where a thick line of icing slowly and smoothly drips off of the fork when lifted from the bowl. Dye it your desired color, dividing it between separate bowls first if using multiple colors.

Dip the tops of the completely cooled cookies into the icing. Gently pull out the cookie and use a fork or skewer to scrape off excess icing without touching the cookie itself. Set cookie on top of a wire rack that’s positioned over waxed paper or foil and allow to harden completely, letting the cookies sit for at least an hour. Store covered.

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And click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Aren’t those just the sweetest looking mummy cookies you’ve ever seen??

I haven’t made these things in years and I was really craving them, but this year I changed things up a little.

All I did was add some almond extract into the batter and icing, but it really makes a difference.  It adds so much dimension to the cookies.  I feel like vanilla extract gets lost in chocolate cookies, but almond brings out both flavors.

And I like the royal icing as the mummy wrappings because it dries hard and shiny, although royal icing isn’t really known for it’s spectacular flavor… but a little almond is the perfect fix!

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

The cookie batter is based on the Hershey’s chocolate cutout cookies.

It’s an easy recipe, which is part of the reason I like.  You mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, blend the wet in the other, then mix ’em all together.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Once you have your yummy chocolate almond cookie dough, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for an hour.

Try to do this before you – ahem – “taste test” the entire batch.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Roll it out on a floured surface and use some gingerbread men cookie cutters to make the mummies.

My cutters were about 2.5 inches tall and I got 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

The icing can be whipped up quickly with a fork.  I can’t be bothered dragging out the mixer all the time…

Anyway, if you don’t already have meringue powder, it’s worth picking some up.  I swear this stuff lasts forever.

To easily fill a plastic bag with the icing, put the bag in a glass first and fold the edges over the rim.  Scoop in the icing, and you have an instant decorating bag!

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Don’t those look gorgeous??

Once the cookies are completely cooled – and once you’ve made sure to place some waxed or parchment paper under the cooling racks – then go ahead and “wrap” your mummies.

Snip a small hole in the corner of that decorating bag you’ve just filled and drizzle it back and forth over the cookies, allowing it to overlap now and then.

When the icing is hard, CAREFULLY remove the cookies from the racks.  {A couple of my guys lost their heads this way because I got impatient.}  Just use a spatula instead of yanking them off and you should be fine.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

And while the icing is still wet, you COULD add some eyes, by way of mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms or something along those lines, but I don’t find that necessary.

I like the look of them without any eyeballs.  More elegant.  If mummies can be such a thing…

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectionary (powdered) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

Blend the butter, egg, sugar, and almond extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter in the shape of a gingerbread man for the mummies. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until you can lightly touch the cookie without leaving an indentation. Cool completely on wire racks.

For the icing, use a fork to blend the sugar, meringue powder, extract, and 3 tablespoons water. Continue to add about half a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. You should be able to lift the fork out of the bowl and have the icing slowly drip off in a thick line.

Put the icing in a decorating bag or in a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off, and decorate the cookies by moving the icing back and forth over them. Be sure that you have something under the racks to catch the excess icing, such as waxed paper.

Once the icing has hardened, very carefully remove the cookies from the racks. Store covered.

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Here is the free printable PDF version of the recipe:  Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

And a few things you may need:

Wilton Christmas Cookie Cutters Wilton Meringue Powder Imitation Almond Extract Organic Almond Extract

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature