I decided to try my artistic skills with royal icing to make gingerbread emoji cookies. After making these irreverent and funny gingerbread men, I had a bunch of leftover gingerbread dough and royal icing. I racked my brain to think of another recipe that could use the ingredients.I wanted to avoid the oh-so-obvious gingerbread men. Also, I saw the opportunity to tap into my husband’s family tradition of inserting a little pop culture into the Christmas decorations. These gingerbread emoji cookies hit both those notes in perfect fashion.I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these little guys were to make. Prior to starting, I was sure they would be a total flop. I’m actually so pleased with how cute they turned out. But the best part is how much my kids like them. Because my son is so picky, I even worry he won’t like cookies. He happened to love the gingerbread emoji cookies; he even asked for seconds. My kids also got a kick out of all the different expressions. They were excited to see which cookie I’d bring them.If you want to make your own gingerbread emoji cookies, I’ve found a great gingerbread dough recipe and the perfect royal icing recipe. There are only two other things you need — something round to cut out the shapes and a fine piping tip and bag for the royal icing. I found emoji pictures by just doing a quick internet search on my phone. Have fun with it! Even if they don’t turn out perfect, you know they’re gonna taste good.
Gingerbread Emoji Cookies 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.