Episode 1 "Cookie Week": Grace's Gingerbread Hospital Showstopper Recipe
For the Gingerbread cookie dough (will need to make 2x batches):
• 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon table salt
• 3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
• 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup dark molasses
• 1/2 tablespoon water
For the Royal Icing for mortar:
• 2 large pasteurized egg whites
• 2 2/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
For the Cookie Dough for people/cars/ambulances:
• 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon almond extract
• 2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon table salt
For the Royal icing for cookie decoration:
• ½ cup meringue powder
• 1 (scant) cup water
• 2 pounds powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
For Exterior Decorations:
• Miniature Milky Way bars
• Smarties candy
• Black licorice
• Fruit roll ups – assorted colors
• Gumdrops – assorted colors
• White sparkling sugar
• Andes Thin Mints – about 200 pieces
• Shredded coconut
For the Gingerbread cookie dough:
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and well blended. Beat in the eggs, molasses and water until well combined. Beat half of the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well blended and smooth. Stir in the remaining flour. Knead until well blended. If dough is too soft, add a little more flour.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before rolling out. Make 4 batches.
Make the Gingerbread House Pieces:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness and cut out pieces. Bake until the edges are just beginning to darken, 11-15 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets half way through the baking for more even browning. Remove the sheets to racks to cool, about 15 minutes. If necessary, while pieces are still warm, realign templates,
and trim off any parts of the pieces that have spread beyond the shape while baking. Remove pieces to cool directly on racks to cool completely.
For the Royal icing:
2. Whisk together until smooth the egg whites and 1 1/3 cups of the powdered sugar. Add the remaining 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar to the sugar egg mixture. Using an
electric mixer beat on high speed until the icing holds stiff peaks. If it doesn't form stiff peaks, add more powdered sugar.
For the cookie dough for people/cars/ambulances:
1. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy – approximately 3 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat another minute. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time.
2. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thick. Cut out assorted people, cars, etc. Bake at 3750 F 13-14 minutes. Cool on cooling rack.
For the Royal Icing for cookie decoration:
1. Mix together the ingredients.
1. Assemble Gingerbread hospital. Embellish to represent entrance: trees, doctors,nurses, snow, cars on street and in parking lot ambulance, fire hydrant, etc.