I love to bake. Especially during the holidays, I’m constantly trying out a new cookie recipe. This year, I knew I wanted to try making a hanging gingerbread man recipe. What I didn’t know is that we’d undertake a DIY cookie cutter project in order to craft the perfectly silly gingerbread men we created.
Why Would You Bother to Make Your Own DIY Cookie Cutter?
We decided to make our own DIY cookie cutter because we couldn’t find the size or shape we wanted. I say “we” here because this was sort of a group project for my hubby and me. We wanted to make gingerbread man cookies that perch on the edge of a mug. We saw these cute little houses a few years ago, and we made these mug hanging leaf cookies a couple of months ago. Combining the two ideas, we came up with these funny gingerbread men to hang on the side of a mug.
Initially, we didn’t own a gingerbread man cookie cutter that would make small enough gingerbread men to properly hang off the edge of a mug. While searching online for where to buy one, my husband ran across this tutorial for making your own cookie cutters. He took up the challenge of making a cookie cutter from scratch. He was extra enthusiastic after sketching out his idea on a sheet of notebook paper. We both giggled at his little sketch. My hubby is pretty handy,so I let him have at it of making a cookie cutter from scratch.
He came back from the hardware store with the metal and glue to hold it together. He then broke out the needle-nosed pliers and bent his little idea into fruition. It was actually much easier than we anticipated. I think his little cookie cutter turned out so well! It definitely gave me ideas of more cookies cutters we can make in the future.
How We Chose the Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
I’ve tried making gingerbread men and other cut-out cookies over the years, but I’ve always struggled to find a good dough recipe. I decided to use the recipe and tips I read from Not Martha’s gingerbread houses when deciding which recipe to use. I chose to adapt the Martha Stewart recipe mostly because I was so impressed with how well Not Martha’s gingerbread houses turned out — straight, no spreading.
To create this gingerbread dough recipe, you’ll definitely want to stock up on plenty of Gold Medal Flour and Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. I always stick to these quality brands that have been around for more than 100 years. You can find Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour 5 lb. bags and 2 lb. boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in the Walmart baking aisle. I tend to purchase several bags and boxes at a time so I’m always prepared for my holiday baking. It drives me absolutely crazy when I’m planning to make a new cookie recipe, I have all the ingredients out, and I realize I don’t have enough of something.
The first time I made the dough, it was way too dry, so I had to remake it. If you make this recipe, I would suggest you only add 5 cups of Gold Medal flour and then add the remaining cup a little at a time to make sure you have the right consistency.
How to Decorate the Hanging Gingerbread Men
To decorate our gingerbread men, we made a simple royal icing recipe and found these silly eyes. If you don’t want to make your gingerbread men with their hands down, you could easily adapt this recipe to use a standard gingerbread man cookie cutter.To get your men to sit on the cup, simply cut a small notch in between their legs. If you find your dough spreads at all while baking, you can always create a slightly larger notch when they come out of the oven. While the dough is still hot, just use a little pairing knife to make a larger notch.
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
adapted from Martha Stewart
5-6 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon Arm & Hammer baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Royal Icing Recipe
Adapted from Alton Brown
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This post was compensated by Acorn Influencer Network. All opinions are my own. #BestOfBaking #Ad