Christmas Cookies

Baking Gingerbread Doves with Sea of Shoes and Family

We bake our favorite cookies the day after Christmas—you would think we would be sick of all the sweets, but sadly, we're not,” says Atlantis Home author Judy Aldridge. While her 19-year-old daughter, Sea of Shoes blogger Jane, publishes a personal style site overflowing with vintage finds, youngest daughter Carol takes charge of the oven. She shares her recipe for turtle-dove-themed cookies (based on a Martha Stewart formula) below.

Gingerbread Doves

(Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days)

  • 3 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (more for dusting)
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • Royal icing

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and cloves; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, both sugars, and fresh ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy, for two to three minutes. Beat in egg and molasses to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and shape into flattened disks; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand until slightly softened (this will help keep the dough from cracking when rolled). On a large piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour, roll out dough to about a quarter inch thick. To prevent sticking while rolling, occasionally run a large offset spatula under the dough, and add more flour. Place parchment paper and dough on another baking sheet; freeze until very firm (takes about 15 minutes).
  4. Remove dough from freezer; working quickly, cut out with large cookie cutters of your choice. Using a wide spatula, transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheets; chill until firm (takes about 15 minutes).
  5. Bake (rotating sheets halfway through) until cookies are crisp but not darkened (takes 12 to 15 minutes). Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired with royal icing.  

For the Royal Icing

  • 1lb confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • food coloring (optional)

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine sugar, meringue powder, and a scant half cup of water on low speed. Beat until mixture is fluffy yet dense, for seven to eight minutes.
  2. Test the consistency by lifting a spoonful of icing, and letting it drip back into the bowl; a ribbon should remain on the surface for five to seven seconds. To tint, dip a toothpick or wooden skewer into food coloring, and gradually mix it until the desired shade is reached.

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