Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gingerbread Horns

Just in case there was any doubt that I'm a complete band dork, here you go!

Yes, I have a horn shaped cookie cutter. Or a whale if you eat off the mouthpiece. I bought it at a horn workshop a few years ago, and have baked horn cookies for the studio every year since!

It's Christmas time in my book, and that means gingerbread. Now, I'm pretty picky about my gingerbread cookies. They have to be soft. Melt-in-your-mouth soft. None of those crunchy or chewy ones, not acceptable. This recipe works perfectly. The only thing I'm not totally crazy about, is they're not very sweet, with only a half cup of sugar in the whole (fairly large) batch. That's what the frosting is for!

I'm not one for using a recipe when making my frosting, it's just a cup or two of powdered sugar, and a tablespoon or two of a liquid. (It's way less than you'd expect!) I like to use a little lemon juice to cut through the super-sweetness, a little vanilla to balance the lemon out, and a little water, but milk or orange juice work well too. Just mix until everything's smooth and the consistency you want, and dip in the sprinkles if you want before it dries.

So now it's officially Christmas in The Horn Choir AT Virginia Tech. (You see, they wouldn't let us be "The Virginia Tech Horn Choir," just in case we do stupid things, we're not actually associated with the university. We just rehearse in Squires and are all Tech students and are conducted by a Tech professor and get tiny amounts of money from the university when we beg them and get one credit per semester. Still, not at all associated with Tech.) Anyway, it's Christmas. Now I can bust out the super easy Christmas duets/quartets and con freshmen into playing them with me ALL THE TIME!!! Mwahahahaha!!!

And what did I do with the rest of the dough when I got bored with horns?

Turkeys. Like any good Hokie would :)

Gingerbread Cutouts
From Better Homes and Garden's New Cookbook

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tbs vinegar or lemon juice
2 1/2 cups flour

In a mixing bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg, and  vinegar or lemon juice until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 3 hours or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough at a time to 1/4 inch. cut into desired shapes, and place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
Bake for 5 to 6 minutes at 375, until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful! I love cookies. Do bake more of these when more people can eat them!