In the spirit of decluttering, I found a way to avoid buying a cookie stamp.
As you may know, I’m going through my house like a crazy woman tossing everything unloved, unused, forgotten, replaceable, and nonfunctioning. And checking off boxes on my “Get Rid of 2019 Things in 2019” checklist as I do so. I can’t describe how motivating it is to see those boxes filled in!
So when I saw all these beautiful stamped gingerbread cookies on Pinterest last month, my instinct was to follow the blog links straight to Amazon and start shopping. That’s just … what I do. Or what I did? I hope it’s the latter. I joke that if I ever stopped shopping at Amazon, they’d have to call an emergency board meeting to find out why their profits had dropped so drastically. But it’s not really a joke. I almost can’t bear to look back through my order history, because it just goes on and on and on.
I’d been scrolling through the stamp choices and comparing choices and designs, and I even got as far as putting one of them in my cart, when it dawned on me that I was about to bring yet another thing into my house–and a $36 thing at that.
So I deleted the item and decided to see if I had anything at all in my house that could function as a stamp. It’s always better when you can make one item do the work of two, right? My first thought was to see if one of my glasses had a pretty design on the bottom. But my house is completely devoid of pretty-bottomed glasses, so I had to keep hunting. Here’s the fun I had trying out two options. (Recipe at end)
- My meat mallet. Like the waffle look?
2. My apple cutter. It took a couple of cookies for me to get just the right “push”–not so much that I cut the dough completely, but deep enough that I got a good print. This was my favorite. Not only is it pretty, but the glaze drizzled nicely into the grooves, accentuating the design.
And now …
… a moment of complete transparence, because it annoys me to see how pristine most kitchens look in food blogs. Baking is art, and art is messy. Right? These are unstaged, unfiltered shots of my kitchen mid-baking. Because I think it might comfort you to know that I’m as messy as you are.
Not having much luck getting my recipe plug-in to work, so for now I’ll do it the old fashioned way:
Stamped, Glazed Gingerbread Cookies
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar (or half white and half brown)
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
Cream together the butter and shortening, then add sugar and mix until fluffy. (I don’t like using shortening, but if you use all butter, your cookies have a tendency to spread more)
Add molasses and water and blend well.
In another bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Add to molasses mix and blend well.
If you want to make gingerbread men out of this recipe, just cover and chill for at least two hours. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut out shapes.
To make stamped cookies, chill for one hour, then scoop out walnut-sized balls (I use this one, but you can always just eye-ball it), form into smooth balls, and place on baking sheet. I use stoneware cookie sheets which need no prepping, but you may want to spray your baking sheets lightly for the first batch.
Use stamp of your choice … or a meat mallet, apple cutter, the bottom of a pretty glass … and flour in between stamps.
Bake at 375 degrees until cookies are barely set. They’ll continue to set up as they cool, so try not to over-bake them. Mine take about 15 minutes. Cool cookies on a rack.
To make the glaze: just sift a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl, add a dash of salt, and add enough lemon juice to make it drizzle-able. Since I was in an experimenting mood, I tried one batch with grapefruit glaze, but it didn’t have the zing of the lemon glaze. If you come up with something even more delectable, please come back and tell me. 🙂