10 Tips for Great Gingerbread:
1. Chill the dough before rolling it out. You'll find it much easier to work with after it's been refrigerated for at least an hour.
2. Roll the dough out on a surface lightly dusted with a mixture of flour and confectioners' sugar or between pieces of parchment paper.
3. Keep cookie cutters from sticking to the dough by misting them very lightly with cooking spray or dusting them in flour.
4. If you're cutting out large or delicate shapes, save them from falling apart by rolling out the dough on parchment paper, removing the scraps and sliding the paper directly onto a baking sheet.
5. Let gingerbread cool completely before you decorate it.
6. A simple glaze of confectioners' sugar and milk works well for decorating cookies. Add extracts or citrus zest to enhance the flavor.
7. Use liquid or paste food coloring to brighten up icing.
8. Add decorations (such as colored sugar, shredded coconut, toasted sliced almonds, chocolate and rainbow sprinkles, edible glitter, multicolored nonpareils, button candies, mini semisweet baking bits and dried currants) before the icing dries.
9. Let decorated cookies stand until icing sets, about 2 hours.
10. Cookies can be prepared up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in single layers between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers.
See our complete Gingerbread recipe collection.
A Taste of History with Your Gingerbread?
Dense, ginger-spiced cookies flavored with molasses or honey date back to the Middle Ages, when intricately carved boards were used to make fanciful shapes. Sold at fairs, these treats were holiday favorites. Gingerbread remains popular today and cookie cutters make it easy to create an assortment of holiday-themed shapes.
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