ginger shortbread stars

well, as we are all prepping for the thanksgiving feast, i am getting ready to bake some cookies that work very well for both the thanksgiving and christmas holidays! and again, it uses one of my most favorite autumnal and winter spices – ginger. but these aren’t just any ginger cookies. no sir-ree! this dough is absolutely perfect to be rolled and cut out into any shape you wish — and are especially good to use for your annual gingerbread men and ladies! the dough is easy to work with and very forgiving, even with re-rolling scraps. the one main thing to remember, don’t skip the ‘overnight in the fridge’ step. if you plan to use them as ginger men and ladies, you can keep the dough a little thicker, but in my opinion, the thinner you roll the dough, the tastier and more delicate the cookie. they are totally scrumptious!

ginger shortbread stars
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup golden brown sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 1/2 tablespoon orange peel, ground fine
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1″ pieces

1. mix flour, sugar, corn starch, orange peel, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl.
2. whisk molasses, water and egg in small bowl, set aside.
3. cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. pour molasses mixture over flour and beat with mixer until dough forms a ball. knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth. divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 12 hours up to 24 hours. (don’t skip this ‘overnight in the fridge’ step.)
5. roll dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness. cut with star-shaped cookie cutter and place on baking sheets.
6. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. bake for 11-13 minutes. cool on wire racks.
yield: approximately 36 cookies.

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