My daughter has been looking forward to making "dangerbread" men for a while now. I love the way she says it! It sounds more like she's saying dangerbread. Believe me . . . this recipe that I found is exactly that. DANGER! I searched for the perfect recipe - not too simple and bland, yet not too complicated. I found the perfect recipe at Food Network (foodnetwork.com), courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli.
This recipe is super easy to follow and these are the best gingerbread cookies I've ever make. The orange zest really comes through in a subtle way, and the other flavors are layered so perfectly. The orange glaze really pulls it all together. Dip this cookie into a glass of ice cold whole milk or enjoy it next to your favorite cup of hot chocolate and feel the coziness of winter and Christmastime settle in. I'm even tempted to spread a little orange marmalade on it. These are scrumptious!
In addition to the great flavor and cozy feeling you get from these cookies, the decorating part adds an extra memory. I'm no cake decorator, but this was easy for my first time. My son joined in and the toddler in him came out in such a joyous way. I had to take a few pictures to share. Below the pictures is the recipe. Alex Guarnaschelli, you are one awesome cook! Thanks for this topnotch recipe. It's a keeper and will be added to our family tradition with just one twist . . . these will forever be in our family as "Dangerbread" cookies in honor of our daughter's way of saying it and her daily victory over autism and adhd.
1 1/2 sticks lightly salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 orange, zested
The dry ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
The wet ingredients:
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 lemon, juiced
Easy Orange Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
This recipe has been in my family for a long time. The smell will send friends and family running for the warmth of the kitchen. A note about good cookie baking: Halfway through, I always rotate the tray in the oven so the cookies bake evenly on all sides. This recipe is no exception.
Easy Orange Frosting:
Why not have a little frosting on your gingerbread?
In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. If too thick in consistency, add a touch more orange juice or water to thin out.
Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe the frosting between 2 of the gingerbread cookies. Press the 2 cookies halves gently together. These cookies are so beautiful, they can stand alone. Or...make gingerbread sandwiches using the above frosting as the filling...
(I made the frosting first, put it in the bag, and refrigerated it until I needed it)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add the butter, sugar and orange zest and beat until smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses and lemon juice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the butter and sugar are integrated, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture and when blended, remove the bowl from the machine. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press the first half of the dough in between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the second half. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Use a metal spatula to gently transfer them, cookie by cookie, (the cookies should be similar size) to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough and transfer them to another baking sheet.
A note about crowding the tray(s): these particular cookies can spread a little. Leave room between the cookies. Better to use 3 baking sheets with fewer cookies than to crowd them on 2 trays.
Bake until brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more "tough" because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli
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