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Ginger Stars

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Ginger Stars

Ginger Stars

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Gingerbread cookie stars are easy to make, fun to decorate, and even more fun to eat. Prepare the homemade icing given here and pipe through a pastry bag fitted with fine writing tip, or use a store-bought tube of decorator icing.

Note: You can find meringue powder and paste food coloring at cake decorating supply stores, specialty food shops, craft stores and some party stores.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • Royal Icing
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons warm water

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and ginger and mix well.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the molasses, brown sugar and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is melted. Remove the pan form the heat and stir in the baking soda. Add the molasses mixture and egg to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.

3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and free from cracks. 4. Roll, cut out dough, and place 1-inch apart on parchment-line baking sheets.

5. Bake until the cookies are puffed and lightly golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

To make the Icing:
6. In a large clean bowl, combine the sugar and meringue powder. Add the water and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until mixture forms stiff peaks when beaters are lifted, 8 to 12 minutes.

7. Keep the icing covered with a damp cloth while it is being used and store it in an airtight container. You do not need to refrigerate it. Use paste food coloring to tint icing.


Packed with Care: Simple Packing Tips for Shipping Cookies

• Use sturdy containers: Good choices include, cookie tins with lids, small, heavy-gauge cardboard cartons such as shoe boxes, and clear plastic containers with lids.
• Wrap according to shape: Wrap bar cookies individually in aluminum foil. Stack 2- to 3-inch flat cookies in paper muffin cups. Wrap large flat cookies, 4-inches in diameter or larger, individually in wax paper. Pack round or filled cookies, side by side, in paper muffin cups. Pack cookie balls, truffles or small candies in candy paper cups, available from restaurant supply stores and gourmet shops.
• Choose carefully: Some cookies mail better than others. Good candidates include, bar cookies, chocolate chip, oatmeal, gingerbread and sugar cookies. Cookies too fragile to mail are paper thin lemon wafers, almond tuilles, lace-style cookies and meringues. And heavily frosted cookies tend to stick to wrap.
• Pack a box within a box: Choose a shipping box that is big enough to leave a space all around the container for cushioning. Don't use popcorn, cereal or other edibles for fillers. They attract insects and can pick up noxious fumes en route. Seal shipping box with tape. Send for second-day delivery so cookies arrive fresh.

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