The Holidays...

Tis the season...
who knew a fake garland would confuse the girls so much?!
They're trying to decide if it's pretty or if they should try to eat it.

The Red Door Christmas Tree Farm was adorably frozen this year

And so pretty in the sunshine. 

Are you my tree?


Disco moose is shining...

Frosty and Clarice - together again.

Gingerbread is baking..

and my girl is hard at work.
For you, I share my Gingerbread cookie recipe with Brown Butter Frosting from Farm Fresh Recipe:
      Gingerbread Cookies with Fresh Ginger - 

Gingerbread Cookies with Fresh Ginger and Brown Butter Icing - 
From the Farm Fresh Recipes Cookbook by Missing Goat Farm
We make these every year and hang them on our kitchen cookie tree. It's one of those projects that I love and wait for all year. Some cookies we decorate, some we leave plain. I use fresh ginger in my recipe and I hope you will too—it really adds something special that powdered ginger lacks.

Depending on the size you cut them out to, there could be about 60 cookies

1/2 cup (115 g) butter
1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
2/3 cup (110 g) molasses
1 egg
1- 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger – I love ginger so I use 3 tablespoons (use a fine grater like a micro-plane grater). If you have powder, use 1 1/2 teaspoons.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

For plain butter icing (brown butter recipe is below)
1/2 cup (115 g) butter, at room temperature
3–4 cups (425–565 g) icing sugar
3–4 tablespoons cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, egg, fresh ginger and vanilla extract.

Mix the spices, flour and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) together in a separate bowl. 

Scrape the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and blend together well—you will have to use your hands as this is a dry dough. Gently knead the dough until it absorbs all the flour.  Wrap up the dough in plastic wrap (cling film) and transfer to the fridge to chill it for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Unwrap the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour a rolling
      pin so the dough doesn't stick and roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick. If you want 
      crispy cookies, then roll the dough thinner. If you want softer cookies keep the
      dough thicker.

You can now use cookie cutters to cut out shapes of your choice. We like to use trees, moose, wolves, stars, squirrels... a little less traditional, but fun. Bake your shapes on a piece of parchment (grease proof) paper in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes until the edges are just slightly brown. If you plan to hang them on a tree or tie them to a present, use a straw to poke a hole in the top before you bake them.

While the cookies are cooling make your icing. Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth. Begin to add vanilla, cream or milk, then the icing sugar, 1 cup (140 g) at a time.  You can either keep the icing thick and spread it on with a knife, or add a bit more cream so you can use a piping bag to apply the icing.

Once the cookies have cooled, you can decorate with a butter or royal icing as preferred.
I like a butter icing and any chance I get to eat it, is a happy day.

Variation: Brown Butter Icing
Use the same ingredients for the icing above, but melt the butter in a small saucepan first and let it brown—not burn, just begin to brown. Remove from heat. Blend the brown butter with the icing sugar, vanilla and cream the same as for the butter icing.  Browning the butter gives a really good flavour to the icing.