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December 20, 2010

Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

Swedish gingerbread cookies

Michelle Riley/The HSUS

Makes several dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cutters.

Cookies

10 2/3 tablespoons margarine
2/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer powder (such as Ener-G®)
2 tablespoons water
4 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour


Royal Icing

3 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons egg replacer powder
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

Cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 F (163 C) with two racks evenly spaced. Cover two cookie sheets with aluminum foil.

Cut the margarine into small pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mix the egg replacer and the water throughly in a small, separate dish.

In a two-quart saucepan, heat the molasses, sugar, ginger, and cinnamon until they come to a low boil. Remove from the stove, add the baking soda, and stir until the mixture foams up to the top of the pan. Then pour this over the margarine and stir until the margarine melts.

Stir the egg replacer and water into the molasses mixture. Then gradually stir in the flour with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Turn the dough out onto a counter or work surface and knead gently until it's thoroughly mixed.

Lightly flour the counter or work surface. Take half the dough, make it into a ball, and roll it out with a floured rolling pin until it's about 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cuttters to cut out whatever shapes you like. Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the shapes onto the cookie sheets. Leave a little space around each shape, as they will expand slightly during baking.

When you've cut out all the shapes you can, press the scraps back together into a ball, roll out again, and continue this process until you've used all the dough.

Bake the cookies for about 11-13 minutes, until they feel firm but not hard to the touch. 

Once the cookies are completely cool, you can decorate them with the icing.

Icing

In a mixing bowl, whip the water and the egg replacer until thick. Gradually add the sugar in batches and continue mixing until a thick icing forms. If it gets too thick, you can add a tiny bit more water. 

Fit a pastry bag with a small metal or plastic decorating tip. Spoon the icing into the bag, press out the air, and roll down the bag from the top. Hold the bag from the top and ice the cookies however you like. Let the icing set for at least 15 minutes after decorating. 

Recipe adapted from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies.

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