Holiday baking, Christmas edition: Gingerbread

The punchline here is that I wasn’t sure I’d have enough:  end_zone

The office Christmas party was this week, which meant that I was on cookie detail. I am always on cookie detail.

The lineup this year was a mix of old standbys and new ideas. And, for the first time in forever, I didn’t make biscotti. But I was tempted to, because in a moment of madness, I looked over the table full of cookies and wondered if I needed to make one more thing just so there’d be enough for the office party and two gift bags.

What got made

All in all, I think everything turned out not bad, especially the items that were making their debut (the espresso and the cottage cheese). The almond cookies were a salvage job – I was trying to make amaretti from a recipe that was, in fact, too good to be true, and once I saw that they were never going to become proper amaretti, I threw in a cup of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder and got something vaguely cookie-like.

I’ve got the routine for en masse cookie baking down pretty well – setting up the doughs in advance helps a lot. The gingerbread has to sit overnight anyway, so just rinsing out the mixing bowl and cleaning off the paddle and starting again’s not too hard – you end up reusing the same measures for flour/sugar/vanilla/salt/leavener and it’s a lot less chaotic without having to build a rhythm around rotating trays in the oven or moving items from tray to rack.


I’m a bit fortunate in that the first gingerbread recipe I stumbled upon turned out to be the keeper. This recipe produces very moist, chewy, spicy gingerbread that’s excellent on its own without needing icing. Which is good, because I’m generally too lazy to bother with it.


The dough, wrapped and ready for the fridge. Yes, I know exactly what it looks like. The recipe says overnight is good, but I’ve kept mine in the fridge for a couple of days before making to no ill effects.


These are two of the little cutters I have that I take out every year and never use.


Every year, I make buttons.


Which come out just fine.


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