Ninjabread Men

I have an exciting Bashful Bao announcement.  My last post in 2011 was my 50th!  In only 2 ½ months, I put up 50 posts.  That sheer fact is mindboggling to me, especially since at any given time, I have at least 10 sets of pictures on standby, waiting to get up here.  It makes me think I should have started this blog sooner.

I am so happy to be posting about these cookies.  This was my first time making gingerbread cookies, I’ve made molasses cookies, but never the kind I needed to roll out.  I wanted to make sure I got a soft and chewy cookies, so I scoured my sources, and found a great recipe over at Crepes of Wrath.

But I don’t get that excited over gingerbread.  I have excitement standards…although Izzy lying down on her side three times in one day makes me feel like my standards are being lowered….Anyway, I was excited to break out the set of cookie cutters that I had bought a few months before.

I got these adorable ninja shaped cookie cutters from thinkgeek.com, a favorite website of mine.  I was so happy to finally make ninjabread men, deliciously spicy morsels of chewy gingerbread…watch out, they’re sneaky!

Ninjabread Men (chewy gingerbread cookies)

Adapted from Crepes of Wrath

Makes 30-35 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add in the molasses and beat until well combined. Beat in the egg until combined.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Whisk until combined, then gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, a bit at a time, mixing until well combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work.

Carefully wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The dough is pretty sticky at this point, so I found it easiest to lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and dump the dough directly onto that from the bowl instead of handling it too much with my hands.

After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously flour your work surface, then take half of your dough and place it down. Generously flour your hands and your rolling pin, then roll the dough out to your desired thickness (mine was about quarter of an inch thick). Carefully move the cookies to a lined and/or greased baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies have risen.  Allow to cool completely before moving to another surface to decorate.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5-7 cups confectioners sugar
water, as necessary

Using a mixer (hand or stand), beat together the egg whites, lemon juice, and for a few minutes until frothy. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, beating at medium-high speed, until the icing forms stiff peaks (you may not need all of your powdered sugar). I think I used about 5 or 6 cups of powdered sugar. If your icing gets too stiff, just add in some water and beat until you have your desired consistency. If your icing is not firm enough, add more powdered sugar. When your icing has stiff peaks, it is ready to pipe and can be used to outline your cookies. Makes enough icing to frost about 30-35 cookies.  I used the extra to frost my sugar cookies.

Note: I halved this recipe as well and got about 30 ninjas.  I think that’s because my cutters were smaller than the ones Sydney at Crepes of Wrath used.

 

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