Friday, December 12, 2008

Maple Glazed Gingerbread Cakes

I have had a spectacularly busy couple of days, and coupled with the fact that I've had no Internet access, I haven't been able to write about my kitchen mess making. Thank God for modern kitchen appliances; I've been running my dishwasher twice a day a lot lately. My counter tops are stacked high with jars full of my concoctions, awaiting their turn to be packaged and shipped off to destinations far and wide. The fun part is making it...trekking to the post office, not so much.

I've decided that Thursdays will be my cookie-making day, mostly because that is the day I visit my 90 year old grandmother, and she has a sweet tooth like I've never seen. Yesterday, I brought her a bag full of huge, soft gingerbread cookies with a maple glaze. Not overly sweet, these tender cookies would go equally well with afternoon tea or a cheese plate. Much simpler to make than ordinary gingerbread, there is no boiling water to add, or dough to chill. The ingredients are simply stirred together with a wooden spoon (saving the hassle of washing the stand mixer!), then rolled out and cut into rounds. My grandmother liked them so much she ate two, and decided not to share with her housemates. I guess I'll bring more cookies next time.

Maple Glazed Gingerbread Cakes

1 C sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
2 t ginger
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C molasses
2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 t vanilla
4 C flour, plus more for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°.

For cookies:
Mix sugar, spices, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in molasses, butter, and vanilla with a whisk. Stir in flour, 1 C at a time with a wooden spoon. Dough should be moist, but not sticky. If dough is sticking on your fingers, add up to 1/2 C more flour. Turn out onto floured board and knead until smooth. Cut dough in half and put half in fridge to roll out later. Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut out round cookies with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Roll out any leftover dough and re-cut as many as possible. Place cut cookies on a greased baking sheet leaving 1 inch between them and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack then glaze.

For the glaze:
sift 1/2 C powdered sugar into a bowl. While whisking, drizzle in enough maple syrup (1 T at a time) so that the glaze is shiny and comes off the whisk in ribbons. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

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