Gingerbread People with Chocolate Stout Pants
Leave it to me to booze up a holiday classic. I do that sort of thing this time of year. I also have very specific ideas about gingerbread and cookie making in general I want to tell you about. I can be opinionated about small things far more than big things, but cookies need rules.
First, soft and chewy will always be preferable to crispy and hard. You can keep your mouth scraping sugar cardboard, I’ll take mine soft and chewy because I don’t hate myself.
Also, while I find intricately decorated royal icing covered masterpieces impressive and beautiful, I don’t want any part in making them. My rule is: it must take more time to eat them than it takes to decorate them, or you’re spending too much time on the wrong part of enjoying the cookie. Keep it simple.
Also, when it comes to gingerbread, the ginger shouldn’t be the loudest of the flavors. I firmly believe that the cinnamon, molasses, and ginger should all have equal voices. Which is why I should change the name to Gingolassamon cookies but that’s just too much to explain. And you can disagree with me and make your own cookie rules, you do you.
Also, cookies shouldn’t have a gender because that makes me think of putting genitals into the mouths of people whom I’ve baked cookies for and that makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to be responsible for making that sort of choice for another person. Therefore, my gingolassamon cookies aren’t men, they’re genderless people. With pants.
- 3 ¼ cups (390g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup (250g) dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup (172g) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (180g) molasses (not blackstrap)
- 2 tablespoons stout beer
- 10oz bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ cup stout beer
- Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
- Add the softened butter, molasses and beer, stir on low speed until combined.
- Transfer to a long sheet of plastic wrap, form into a flat disk, wrap tightly.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until just under ½ inch in thickness.
- Cut out gingerbread people, add to 2 baking sheets that have been covered with parchment paper.
- Freeze for 20 minutes (this will help prevent spreading).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, pull the parchment paper off the sheets and onto a flat surface. Allow to cool.
- In the top of a double boiler set over lightly simmering water, add the chocolate and beer. Stir constantly until most of the chocolate has been melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted.
- Using a spatula or butter knife, spread chocolate onto the cookies. Decorate as desired.
- Allow to cool until chocolate has set before serving.
Blackstrap molasses is what happens when you boil cane juice three times, removing nearly all the sugar resulting in a black, bitter sludge. Dark, light or unsulphured are all fairly interchangeable and pleasantly sweet. Make sure never to use Blackstrap when a recipe calls for molasses unless it’s specifically called for.