Gingerbread Window Flower Cookies
I am a baker who loves gingerbread. Making gingerbread cookies has been a holiday tradition in my family and when I found an opportunity to add flowers- my garden heart and baking heart collided. I had so many messages asking me for the recipe and how to make these beautiful cookies, I put together this tutorial. I will share upfront that these cookies are a labor of love. If you are looking for an easy and quick holiday cookie, this is not it. It is a three step process and takes a bit of time but the end result is well worth it. They are supermodels of the cookie plate. I don’t think any kitchen creation has made me as happy as these cookies. I hope you are inspired to give it them a try!
You will need to find flowers that will fit into your cookie cutout or window. I used pressed violas and pansies from my garden, using the Microfleur flower press. If you have never used one of these and have a project calling for dried flowers, I highly recommend purchasing one You can press and dry your flowers in 40 seconds! I find the microwave press to be so quick and convenient and have quite a collection of pansies built up for my edible goodies. I have also pressed flowers in books but just love the convenience of the Microfleur and the edges are so much smoother than my book pressed flowers. This is the link to the one I purchased on Amazon which I highly recommend:
Make and bake the gingerbread cookie cutouts
I have been baking gingerbread cookies for years and have developed my version of the perfect spicy gingerbread which I will share below but any gingerbread recipe would work. After rolling out the dough, use the cookie cutter to punch out the outer and inner cookie shapes and chill again for 20 minutes before removing the center cut out portion. It will make it much easier to keep the shape of your gingerbread cookie intact if you chill the dough again. After you have removed the center cookie shape, bake your cookies to a firm, well done consistency and let them sit overnight so that there is no moisture or softness to your cookies
Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and flavoring on the stovetop and boil until 300 degrees, which is the hard crack stage of candy. It is important to have a candy thermometer so that you don’t scald the sugar with a temperature that is too high and just as important, so that you do not undercook the sugar glass and have a gooey mess instead of the hard, lollipop like glass.
Once the sugar mixture has reached 300 degrees, it is important to work quickly as the sugar cools very fast when you remove it from the stovetop. Have your cookies next to the range all set up and ready on a Silpat mat or parchment paper sprayed heavily with non stick cooking spray. Gently pour the sugar mixture into the opening of your cookie. It should be thick and viscous, allowing you to slowly pour the mixture in, up to the edges of your cutout.
The sugar glass will begin to cool before you have even finished pouring all of your cookies. By placing a small dab of water on your sugar glass and rubbing it gently with your finger, you will get the sticky surface needed to stick the pressed flower to your cookie. Gently place the flowers into place with tweezers and stand back and enjoy the beautiful cookies you have just created.
I hope this guide was helpful and that these cookies give you the same sense of joy they gave me!
GINGERBREAD COOKIE RECIPE
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
Preheat oven to 350
Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Cmobile the dry ingredients and blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
Bake 10-12 minutes until firm.
SUGAR GLASS RECIPE
1 3/4 Cups of sugar
3/4 Cup light corn syrup
1/2 Cup of water
Combine ingredients in a sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Using a candy thermometer, bring your mixture to the hard crack stage of 300 degrees. Remove from heat and quickly pour into prepared molds or cookies.
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