Gingerbread Boys - 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Over the summer, while I was sitting in a hotel room in Olathe, Kansas, I came across the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil. The swap partnered withCookies for Kids' Cancer raises money to fund new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer. It sounded like a lot of fun and it was for a good cause. At that moment I knew I had to participate this year, so I signed up for the mailing list. I also knew that I would be making this specific cookie, it's one of my favorites and I love to share it any chance I get.

If you aren't familiar with how the cookie swap works, it's actually pretty simple. You sign up, make a donation, and are given a list of three names. You send out a dozen cookies to each of those people and three different people each send you a dozen cookies. You bake, you eat great cookies, you write, and this simple act raises money for a great cause.

In case you were wondering these lovely ladies sent me cookies:

Kasha from The Farm Girl Cooks sent her Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Cari from Fatgirl Hedonist sent her Salted Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amanda from Amanda K by the Bay sent her Pepparkakor Cookies

I sent my gingerbread boys to:

Erica from Sun and Good Eats

Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet

Nicole from 350 Preheat

If you haven't had a chance to make gingerbread boys before, give this recipe a shot. Not only is it simple to make, but the dough stores well. You can freeze it for up to three months or keep in the fridge for a few days, then pull it out and surprise your guests with home made cookies at a moments notice. They'll never know you don't spend all day in the kitchen.

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Chez Panisse Ginger Snaps
makes approximately 18 large cookies

Ingredients

cup sugar
11 tablespoons room temperature salted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground all spice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mild-flavored molasses 
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 cups flour 

Directions

  • In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add spices, vanilla, egg, and molasses then mix until well incorporated.
  • Add sifted flour and continue to mix until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill.

This dough can be stored in the fridge for several days before baking, or frozen for later use.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Divide dough into two portions, leave one out to work with and place the other in the refrigerator so it doesn't get soft.
  • On a flour covered surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.

If you have trouble with the cookie cutter or rolling pin sticking to the dough try applying flour to it.

  • Place cutouts at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes.
  • Let cookies cool for at least 2 minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet, then enjoy!

If you don't feel like cutting out individual shapes with cookie cutters then you may want to try this tip. Line a bread pan with plastic wrap and press dough into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate or freeze the dough overnight. Once chilled you can remove the log of dough and cut off individual pieces.

Recipe Inspiration:

This recipe is originally from The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters although I came across it on David Lebovitz's blog several years ago.

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