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.

12 Responses to “Shrimp with Snow Peas and Edamame”

  1. 1

    VeggieGirl — February 18, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    Love Food Network magazine! :)

  2. 2

    Michelle — February 18, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    I got a Food Network Magazine subscription for Hanukkah and I’ve really been enjoying it! Their recipes are so easy to make and look so vibrant! I’m loving this dish and can’t wait to try it out myself!

  3. 3

    Margaret — February 18, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    Been looking at that one myself. Glad to hear it is a good one. Looks beautiful.

  4. 4

    Katie — February 18, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    I’m always amazed that your photos consistently look better than the magazines’ photos! This looks delicious!

  5. 5

    Deborah Mele — February 18, 2010 @ 8:45 am

    Thanks Lori! I just bought this magazine and was wondering how that cover recipe would work out. Nice to know it is worth trying!

  6. 6

    Tracey — February 18, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

    This recipe caught my eye when my issue of Food Network magazine came this month. Thanks for testing it out – I’ll definitely make it soon!

  7. 7

    Phoo-D — February 18, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

    This sounds terrific! I purchased a package of snow peas on a whim and have been wondering what to make with them. I love the idea of a shrimp and edamame stir fry.

  8. 8

    David A. — February 18, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Hey Lori, thanks for turning us on to this recipe. We at Seapoint Farms distribute edamame across the country and always love reading about how people are using it to cook!

  9. 9

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 18, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    I rarely read Food Network magazine, but this does look like a great dish. Love your picture… it’s beautiful!

  10. 10

    LilSis — February 18, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    I wanted to make this recipe right when I saw the cover! It’s good to know that it’s worth making even if it’s not as quick and easy as they suggest.

    Your photo is awesome! IMHO, better than Food Network’s photo!

  11. 11

    ppark — February 20, 2010 @ 9:20 am

    I bought the magazine earlier this week, and I tried this recipe also. I am not sure that I would call it “quick” either, because you have to marinate the protein for 1 hour. To me, quick is something I can have ready 30 minutes after I walk in the door. That being said, I put the protein in the marinade, and only marinated long enough to assemble/chop the rest of the ingredients, and that took about 30 minutes. It turned out well, and I am looking forward to trying some more combos. The best part to me was the sauce ideas.

  12. 12

    Maria — February 23, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    I love the colors in this dish!

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