Perfect Gingerbread Men

Cover recipe- Food Network Magazine, Perfect Gingerbread Men with Royal Icing: December 2010

The theme of this month’s Food Network Magazine is “123 Fun Holiday Recipes… like these easy gingerbread men.”  It’s certainly a festive, Christmas cover, complete with easy appetizers, no fuss dinners and 50 holiday drink recipes.  One of the best features this month:  100 gifts for food lovers!

When I first started receiving this magazine, I was a little skeptical… I thought they’d just be advertising their shows and pushing products.  I have to say that I really enjoy the magazine.  There’s a visual recipe index at the beginning, which helps me decide immediately if I’m interested in a recipe or not.  They do utilize the Food Network Stars in many of the articles and recipes, but there’s quite a lot of extra stuff in there too.  Love the monthly reader recipe contest at the end of the magazine.

The cover features Perfect Gingerbread Men, and there is a cute section within the magazine- Ten ways to creatively decorate Gingerbread Men and Women. Read on to find out my take how these Gingerbread Men turned out…

Print Print Recipe

Perfect Gingerbread Men with Royal Icing

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 30 min + chill time

Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

COOKIES:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
6 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. melted shortening
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
additional flour for rolling

ICING:
2 Tbsp. meringue powder
1 lb. powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. water
food coloring, if desired

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients- through allspice.  In a separate large bowl, mix butter, shortening, sugar, molasses and egg with an electric mixer.  Beat in flour mixture in two additions.
2.  Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and pat to 1/2-inch thick.  Chill 2 hours.
3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to 1/4-inch thick, dusting with flour, if needed.  Cut into 3 to 5-inch gingerbread men and arrange 1-inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Brush off the excess flour and chill 15 minutes.
4.  Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool, then decorate.
5.  Prepare icing:  Sift meringue powder and confectioner's sugar into a large bowl.  Beat in water with a mixer until glossy with soft peaks  Tint with food coloring, if desired.
6.  To draw:  Transfer the icing to a resealable plastic bag; snip the tip of one corner.  For dots:  hold the bag at a 90 degree angle.  For outlines, hold it at a 45 degree angle.  Pipe onto the cooled cookies.  To fill:  draw an outline with the icing, then thin the icing with milk or water until it's the consistency of glue and spread inside the outline with a paintbrush.

Tips:

*Love the plentiful spices in this recipe.
*This was a very simple dough to make and work with.   I skipped the part where it says to put it into a plastic bag and just covered my mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chilled it that way. The dough was very forgiving... and rolled and re-rolled perfectly.
*I made large, medium & small gingerbread men.  11 minutes in the oven was perfect timing for me.
*I've made a lot of Royal Icing in my day... this recipe was a little different than my usual recipe and it worked out just fine. The icing hardened pretty quickly so you have to get decorations on asap.

Source:  Food Network Magazine, December 2010

The results:

Although time consuming, they turned out cute! The cover recipe features a Gingerbread Woman with a marshmallow dress. Snip mini marshmallows in half with scissors; toss in colored sugar (it sticks to the cut side). Attach them to the cookie using royal icing. In the magazine cover photo, the marshmallows are a bit teared and overlapping. I couldn’t quite get mine to do that, but I think it still came out looking rather cute. I love the little flower on top. Kind of a funny side-note… I didn’t have a Gingerbread Woman cookie cutter, so I used paper to trace the outline of the cookie on the cover, then cut that out and used it to trace a Gingerbread Woman from my cookie dough. Oh, the things I’ll do to replicate a cover!

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Absolutely!  It’s completely festive for the month of December, and there is a wonderful feature inside on how to creatively decorate Gingerbread Men.  Turns out that they’re also having a contest– design your ultimate gingerbread man and send in a photo to www.foodnetwork.com/gingerbread.  Your design could appear on their website, and you might win a year-long subscription to the magazine for 10 friends!

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


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7 Responses to “Chicken-Mango Tacos”

  1. 1

    Deborah — May 16, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    I have been all about the fruit salsas lately, and these are seriously calling my name. Love!

  2. 2

    Karly — May 16, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    Can you believe I’ve never even had mango salsa? Sad face.

    I’ve gotta try these!

  3. 3

    Lori Lange — May 16, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

    My son is totally enamored with mango- he wants to eat it all the time. Tucking it into tacos is a great idea. I love those little inserts in the FN Mag!

  4. 4

    Shannon Davies — May 19, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

    I love mango salsa. My father inspired me to experiment with it. What i usually do is that, I mix ripe mangoes and half ripe mangoes. And to complement the colors, I add red and orange tomatoes and cucumber. I also add onion and lemon juice to taste. =)

    I’ll try this one with chicken! Thanks!

  5. 5

    Sausage and Potato Tacos | — May 20, 2013 @ 4:00 am

    […] Salmon Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa & Cilantro Lime Dressing from Alaska From Scratch Chicken Mango Tacos from Culinary Covers Stewed Chicken Tacos from […]

  6. 6

    Faith — May 21, 2013 @ 7:30 am

    I really love the combo of flavors in these tacos! Sounds like a great way to jazz up taco night. :)

  7. 7

    Tieghan — May 21, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Mango salsa rules! I eat that stuff with a spoon! Love these flavors!

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