When I was a teenager, my friends and I celebrated Christmas in July together for a few summers. Since we spent the winter holidays with our families, this was our way of celebrating together. I figure that’s a good enough excuse for why I decided to bake gingerbread cookies in this heat. This recipe is too delicious to only bake up once a year! These chewy, tender cookies incorporate a festive blend of spices. They are very flavourful snacks, making it hard to eat just one. I simply sliced the dough into rectangles instead of making them into gingerbread people, so I ended up with 52 cookies instead of the 30 the recipe intended.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Yields 52 portions
15 ounces (3 cups) all-purpose flour
5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
3/4 cups molasses
2 tablespoons milk
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt together.
2) Add the butter pieces, mixing at medium-low speed until the mixture has sandy texture, about 1 1/2 minutes.
3) Reduce the speed to low and pour in the molasses and milk. Increase the speed to medium and beat until combined, about 10 seconds.
4) Divide the dough in half. Roll out one piece of dough at a time between two sheets of parchment paper til it is 1/4 inch thick. Keep the dough between the parchment paper and place on a baking tray. Place the tray in the freezer until the dough is firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
5) Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
6) Remove one dough sheet from the freezer. Peel off the top parchment paper, then lay it back in place. Flip the dough over and discard that parchment paper. The recipe states to cut the dough into 5 inch gingerbread people, but I simply sliced the dough into little rectangles. Place the cookies on the prepared baking tray lined with parchment paper. Now repeat with the second sheet in the freezer. Gather any scraps and roll them out again.
7) Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, make sure not to overbake. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.