For years I’ve be gathering with other bloggers to swap cookies. Today I’m virtually swapping with about 30 other wonderful, cookie-loving, bloggers. I’m sharing a Christmas cookie from one of my first exchanges – Ginger Creams. These are my mom’s favorite Christmas Cookies and the classic recipe is pretty mush timeless. They were labeled the cookie of 1910-1920 decade, in an era when molasses was used more commonly than sugar. Though they are totally an old fashioned cookie, they are still popular with those I share them with today. Since I’m partnering with The Modern Proper Blog today, I thought these would be a perfect fit.
For the recipe, I modernized it a bit, using butter instead of shortening and a browned butter icing instead of the butter cream. The ginger cookies are lightly sweetened, mostly with molasses, and flavored with an array of wintry spices. The creamy icing perfectly sweetens up the cookie below.
This virtual cookie exchange is happening at 6pm PST tonight on Instagram so follow the hashtag – #calmandbrightcookienight for tons of cookie ideas or follow the links below:
A modern version of a classic recipe for Ginger Cream Cookies.
- 1/3 cup butter*
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses (use light molasses if you can find it)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 TB soft butter
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 3 TB cream or milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Mix the first 5 ingredients together thoroughly. Stir all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and gradually blend them into the egg mixture. Chill dough. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Drop dough by tablespoonful (for medium cookies) or teaspoonful (for mini cookies) about 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cookies will spread slightly during baking. Bake about 7-10 minutes (depending on size of cookie) or until almost no imprint remains when touches lightly. While slightly warm frost with browned butter icing.
- Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
- To brown the butter, heat it up in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbly and frothy (about 5 minutes but watch carefully and stir as needed). Then blend the browned butter with the powdered sugar. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. I like to spoon the icing into a little plastic bag then cut off one end so I can easily pipe out the icing onto each cookie.
The classic recipe from the 20's uses shortening instead of butter. I've tried it both ways but I usually go for butter since it's a more natural ingredient. The shortening does make the cookies keep their shape more and spread less while the butter creates a thinner cookie. I've used both dark molasses and light and they both work but the classic recipe calls for a light molasses.