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Old Fashioned Ginger Tree Ornaments (sharon Stevens)

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 4
Categories: Cookies / Desserts / Gingerbread

1/2  c  Butter, softened
3/4  c  Packed brown sugar
1/4  c  Fancy molasses
1    Egg
1  tb  Grated orange rind
2 1/2  c  Flour
2  ts  Ginger
1  t  Cinnamon
1  t  Baking soda
1/2  ts  Allspice
1/2  ts  Ground cloves
1/4  ts  Cardamom
1/4  ts  Salt
  pn  Cayenne
  pn  Black pepper

Decorator Icing: 4 c sifted powdered sugar 3 egg whites 1/2 tsp cream of tartar In large bowl, cream butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in molasses, egg and orange rind. Stir together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, cloves, cardamom, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Gradually stir into creamed mixture. Gather dough into ball and knead 6 times. Shape into disc; wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled, or for up to 3 days. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling, if necessary. Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, roll out dough to just less than 1/4 inch thickness. Remove top sheet of paper. With floured cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. With straw, poke hole in top of each shape for hanging. Carefully lift paper and dough onto baking sheet; freeze for 15 - 20 minutes or until dough is firm. Transfer cookies to parchment paper-lined or lightly greased baking sheets; bake in 350 oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until edges darken slightly and tops are barely firm when gently touched. Recut holes if necessary. Remove cookies to racks and let cool. Cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely before icing. Makes about 2 dozen Icing: In large bowl and using electric mixer, beat powdered sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar for 7 to 10 minutes or until thickened and very smooth. Cover icing with damp tea towel to prevent drying out. Makes about 2-1/4 cups Canadian Living Magazine, December 1990

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