gingerbread holiday circus cookies


Resembling holiday circus cookies, gingerbread covered in smooth white chocolate and festive sprinkles is a special holiday treat for both kids and adults alike.

Gingerbread is one of my favorite winter flavors. The spicier the better and I can’t think of a sweeter way to balance the spices than pairing it with white chocolate. These cookies are decadence and fun rolled into one festive bite sized treat. This is one of those recipes that makes a lot of cookies so it is perfect for sharing. Or not. No judgement here.

GINGERBREAD HOLIDAY CIRCUS COOKIES
 
Yields: approximately 8 dozen cookies
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 2 lb bag of Ghirardelli white melting wafers
  • paramount crystals (optional)
  • red, white & green sprinkles
PREPARATION
  1. In a large bowl, gently whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and salt on medium speed until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and molasses and mix until incorporated. Mixture may look lumpy, but will come together once flour mixture is added.
  4. Carefully add flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing between additions until all is added and dough is formed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  6. Break off manageable pieces of chilled dough and roll between two sheets of parchment paper until about ¼ inch thick. Peel off top layer of parchment paper and cut cookies to desired shapes.
  7. Carefully transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-11 minutes until edges are crisp, but not darkened.
  8. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
TO DECORATE:
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add one cup of white melting wafers with 1 tablespoon of paramount crystals (if using). Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between and repeating until smooth.
  2. Dip each cookie in chocolate, tap off excess and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Add sprinkles and allow to set until hardened.
  3. Heat additional chocolate as necessary and repeat until all cookies are decorated.
  4. Store in an airtight container.


 
TIPS + TRICKS
I always roll my cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Once the desired thickness is reached, simply peel off the top layer of parchment paper, gently replace and flip dough so that the top is now the bottom and remove the new top layer of parchment paper to set aside. This ensures that the dough has been loosened from both sheets of paper and will easily lift away when cut. This helps to keep countertops and rolling pins clean while also avoiding the addition of excess flour to the dough to avoid sticking.

Rolling pins with adjustable bands or wheels on each end help ensure that your dough is a uniform thickness throughout the entire sheet. Your cookies will bake evenly and look beautiful every time.

Paramount crystals, approximately 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of un-melted candy wafers, aid in thinning the chocolate. Not only do they make it much easier to evenly coat cookies, but they also help the chocolate dry shiny and smooth.

GADGETS
Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
Ateco Christmas Plunger Cutters

In case you haven’t yet completed the recipe lineup for this year’s holiday cookie trays, I have put together a collection of the most decadent cookie recipes of 2013. Each recipe has been hand picked as a personal favorite or one that has earned a top spot on my to-bake list.


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