Gingerbread Friends
Author: 
 
I can't tell you how many this will make - it depends on the size of your cutters. But it's a pretty generous recipe.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ROYAL ICING:
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder (found with cake decorating supplies)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (I use clear vanilla for the whitest possible icing.)
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • FOR DECORATING: melted chocolate, sprinkles, colored sugar, gold dust.
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  2. Add egg and molasses and beat well. The batter should lighten in color.
  3. Add baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the flour, beating well. Make sure all of the flour is well incorporated.
  5. Place dough in an airtight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is better).
  6. Heat oven to 375 F.
  7. Roll dough approximately ¼-inch thick between sheets of parchment.
  8. Cut out shapes and place on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you want them.
  9. Slide parchment onto a cooling rack and cool cookies completely before decorating.
  10. To make royal icing, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a large bowl. If you have a stand mixer, I recommend you use it, with the whisk attachment.
  11. Add the vanilla. Slowly add the water, beating continuously. Beat on medium high for 5 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to achieve the right thickness for piping.
  12. Place in a pastry bag with a small writing tip and pipe directly onto the cookies. A small amount can be thinned if you want to brush it on with a paintbrush. (Pink cheeks, clothing, etc.)
Recipe by The Rowdy Baker at http://www.therowdybaker.com/?p=3322