A twist on the traditional gingerbread cookie. This recipe is sweeter, more kid-friendly, and doesn't require molasses like the traditional cookie. I found the original recipe at http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Gingerbread-Men/Detail.aspx but I have tinkered with it slightly.
Step 1: Setting Up
Time to grab and gather your ingredients and hardware.
1 package (3.4 oz) butterscotch pudding (instant or cook both work, although I've only used instant)
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or margrine
1/2 cup +1 Tbs packed brown sugar (light or dark, doesn't matter)
1 whole egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Medium size bowl
Stand/ hand mixer
Measuring cups and spoons
Large zip top bag or wax paper
Cookie cutters or knife skills
Step 2: Assembly
Assembling the Cookie Dough
1. Cream together the butter, pudding mix, and the brown sugar. Add the egg to the creamed mixture
2. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, and baking soda into the creamed mixture and mix until combined. You may need to scrape the side of the bowl a few times.
3. Once the dough has come together, move it to a zip top bag or a piece of wax paper that is folded in half using the rubber scraper.
4. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Step 3: Shaping Up
Cutting out the cookies
1. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
2. Pat out until thin enough to roll out with a rolling pin
3. Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough out until it is about an 1/8 of an inch thick.
4. Cut cookies out with the cookie cutters or by using your knife skills. Remove scraps
5. Transfer to a greased baking sheet by using the spatula. For easy removal from rollign surface, start at the head and slowly work your way down.
6. Reroll and cut scraps until you have as many cookies cut out as you can.
Step 4: Baking
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place cookie sheet on center rack.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes
4. Remove pan from oven and transfer cookies to cooling racks immediately.
Step 5: Bedazzling
Decorating- Simplest method is to use royal icing
Basic royal icing recipe:
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups (1 lbs) powdered sugar
1. Beat egg whites and vanilla at low speed until frothy.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue to beat at low speed until well incorperated.
3. Boost the speed up to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Move icing to a piping bag or zip top bag with the corner sniped off.
5. Pipe designs on to cookies and add candies, sprinkles, etc if you want to.
6. Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge.