I am so excited to once again to take part in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, this is the 2nd year it is running, and it runs internationally with it being mandatory that there is at least 4 Food Bloggers that enlist in your country to qualify.
As I used my traditional family gingerbread recipe last year and opened up the vault and shared it with you all already, this year I have taken a recipe from one of my Cookie Idols and I have made them and used her design to show that the Cookie Queen Kitsch'n can implement any design that takes your fancy (within reason of course hee hee).. I thought these little Nutcrackers were gorgeous and I have been itching for over a month to start these babies up!
The Gingerbread is based on Orange and Molasses and I wasn't sure how it would go, but I LURRRRVE gingerbread so it wasn't hard to please me and on many nights I have wanted to devour the lot... in fact I even made a whole extra 12 cookies just so I get to keep some myself this year (which i never ever do)!
So here we go......
My recipe is from Sweet Sugar Belle Adventures, here is the link I used:
sweetsugarbelle.com - Nutcracker Ornaments
Now brace yourselves for a wonderful aroma that you are about to enter into when you bake up this baby, its like entering a world of Willy Wonker in the Gingerbread land...
Orange Molasses Gingerbread Nutcrackers(as usual I have made some slight adjustments to the recipe)
1 cup Butter - room tempreture
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 1/4 cup Molasses
1 tsp Orange Rind
1 Tbsp Orange Juice
5 1/2 cups Plain Flour
1 tsp Bi-carb Soda
1/2-1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Ginger
3 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Pre heat oven to 190 (or 375) degrees UNLESS you do what I do and chill dough in fridge overnight.
Cream together the butter, castor sugar, brown sugar and molasses, they will become a thick silken mixture that looks devine. Personally - I start with the paddle attachment and swap to the dough hook when I begin adding the dry ingredients.
Whilst you cream the above, sift all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix them in well, then add in your orange rind and juice. Using a cup measure, add your dry ingredients a cup at a time into your wet mix in your mixer, and eventually after a few minutes it will start to form a dough.
Once the dough has formed into a ball, remove it from the mixing bowl, and split it into 3 balls, flatten the balls into discs and wrap in cling film (or glad wrap), and place into the fridge for at least an hour. This will chill and firm up your dough for rolling.
It is recommended to roll this dough between baking paper but I personally just rolled it out on a floured surface, and it was easily managable.
Roll and cut out your cookie shapes, place them onto baking paper lined tins, bake them for approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie. They will brown up a little but should be baked longer then 20 minutes or else they will burn.
Wait for your cookies to be completely cold before you set about icing them, otherwise the icing will heat and run.
Decorating Stages:Stage 1 - Pipe your outline of the green hat and red chest.
Stage 2 - Flood or fill the green area
Stage 3 - Flood or fill the red area
Stage 4 - (wait overnight) Pipe the face/skin tone of choice
Stage 5 - Flood or fill the face area
Stage 6 - Pipe on the darker green triangles onto green hat
Stage 7 - (wait overnight) Pipe on the nose
Stage 8 - Flood or fill the cravat with yellow
Stage 9 - (wait a couple of hours) Pipe on black eye dots
Stage 10 - Pipe on the black buttons onto cravat
Stage 11 - Pipe on red mouth dot
Stage 12 - Pipe on black moustache
Stage 13 - Pipe on red dots onto hat
Stage 14 - Optional (wait overnight) Pipe on white line on hat trim and coat with white non-pariels
HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
STAY TUNED... for my post soon on the delicious cookies and who baked them with linky links to their fab blogs once I receive them all as I have one to go!