“O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.”
‘O Holy Night’ is arguably my favorite Christmas carol. There is something about the combination of the words, music, and the emotion weaved throughout that song that makes me teary-eyed every time I hear it. Much like music, baking possesses those same blending of flavors and notes that create this symphony of deliciousness. I think that’s why music and food go hand in hand so well. It just makes sense. So, Christmas is two days away. WAT. Where has, the time gone?! And more importantly, how on earth did I get three blog posts out in one week?! It’s a Christmas miracle, people! With last minute holiday prep, I don’t have much time to write so I will make this post brief. Key points you should know: learning to pipe royal icing is tough and Hodgson Mill’s Buckwheat Flour makes for incredible gingerbread cookies. The flavor of the buckwheat is subtle, but you can notice it. It really makes for a perfectly warm, spiced-filled cookie.
If I’m being honest, I stink at finishing details when it comes to a cake or cookies. When I bake, I want to dust a little confectioners’ sugar over top and call it a day. I look at bloggers like Samantha, Julián, and Andrey who beautiful design cookies, cakes, and other sweet treats with the detail of a master carpenter. It seriously blows my mind. I’ve been recently obsessed with the YouTube show Man About Cake and it just makes me want to, even more, take a cake decorating class and learn how to pipe icing like a champ because right now I’m more of a chump when it comes to decorating. L
So, these cookies are super easy and dangerously delicious! You can either use the royal icing recipe or the spiced eggnog icing I made a few posts back, which is equally as tasty. Traditionally growing up, Jon and I would help Momma Crawford decorate a gingerbread house. This year, now that I’m older and a fancy-schmancy food blogger, I thought I would take it up a notch. I knew when developing this recipe that I wanted to make a Christmas cookie tree. I’ve seen pictures of them all over Pinterest and I knew I needed to give it the old TK twist. Taking different start cookie cutters, I made all my shapes and stacked them using the royal icing. I wrapped little lights around it and huzzah! My cookie tree was complete. The perfect way to end a hectic season of holiday baking if I do say so myself.
Until we talk again, have a Merry Christmas! ~ TK
Buckwheat Gingerbread Cookies
For the cookie
1/2 lb. dark brown sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ tablespoons molasses
1 egg, room temperature
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground allspice
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
For the icing
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or any flavor of extract you like!)
1 ½ tablespoons meringue powder
For the cookie. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and egg, mixing to combine.
In another bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dough starts to come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until well combined. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap each with plastic wrap. Place any dough that you are not using in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. You might need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Cut out shapes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure the cookies are 1 inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before removing cookies from the pan.
For the icing. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the confectioners’ sugar, water, peppermint extract, and meringue powder until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Note: For stiff icing (used for outlining), use 1 tablespoon less water. For the thinned (flood) royal icing add an additional teaspoon of water at a time until you reach a good consistency.
Huge thanks to Hodgson Mill for sponsoring this recipe. Be sure to share your baking creations with the hashtag #TKbakes. And as always, all opinions, ramblings, stories, and recipe/adaptations are my own.