Two dear friends were coming to dinner, and I decided to go the distance and not only cook the main meal, but finish off with a tasty dessert. So I turned to my Tartine cookbook and found just the thing: soft glazed gingerbread—they looked to be the perfect vehicle for vanilla ice cream. … And indeed, they were.
GINGERBREAD DOUGH (make this the day before and refrigerate until ready to use)
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup blackstrap or dark molasses
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
Plus 1 pint vanilla ice cream
I started by combining the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and pepper in a bowl. Then I cut the butter up into large chunks and nuked it just enough to soften. The now uber-soft butter was easy to cream with my rubber spatula in a separate bowl. (Tartine says to use a stand mixer, but since I don’t have one, I did everything by hand.)
I kept on beating until all of the ingredients were well incorporated and the dough had come together into a glossy ball. Time to take it out onto a big piece of plastic wrap, where I flattened the dough into a rectangle that was a about 1 inch thick.
After wrapping the dough in the plastic wrap, I stuck it into the fridge and left it there overnight. The next day I took the dough out of the fridge and unwrapped it onto my well-floured counter. I also threw a dusting of flour on top.
After flipping the oven on to 350 degrees F, I rolled the dough out to about 1/3 inch thick. Tartine calls for using cookie molds or a patterned rolling pin, but I decided to keep it super simple. Using a pint glass, I proceeded to stamp out a bunch of circles. Any of the remaining dough outside the circles were then rolled up and flattened out again so that I could punch out more circles.
I tried crimping the edges of one gingerbread cookie using a fork. It looked good so, after placing all of the cookies on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, I went ahead and crimped the rest. While the cookies were baking, I made the simple version of the glaze: Sifted confectioner’s sugar, then added water and whisked them together.
The cookies stayed in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, just until they’d firmed up on the edges but were still soft in the center. I also swapped the baking sheets (top to bottom, bottom to top) halfway through so they’d cook evenly. I cooled the cookies down on wire racks. Then while they were still warm, I brushed on the sugary glaze. Once they’d cooled completely, I stored them in an airtight container until it was time for dessert.