Edible holiday greeting cards

December 18, 2008 4:34:21 PM PST
Looking for something quick and inexpensive to give? How about holiday greeting cards that you can eat. Leigh Glaser teamed up with the San Francisco Baking Institute to show you a clever way to turn gingerbread dough and royal frosting into some holiday fun.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread

Butter ½ cup at room temp
Brown sugar ½ cup
Light molasses ¼ cup
Cinnamon (ground) 1 Tbsp
Ginger (powdered) 1 Tbsp
Cloves (ground) 1 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
All-purpose flour 2 cups
Water 2 Tbsp

Royal Icing

Egg whites from 3 eggs
Powdered sugar 1 pound
Cream of tartar ½ tsp
Lemon or lemon juice 1 lemon, or 3 Tbsp juice
Food coloring add one drop at a time until you achieve the desired color

Decoration Choose an attractive selection of any of the following: assorted candies, pretzels, cereal, pasta, bubble gum. Be creative!

Process for Gingerbread
1. Sift the dry ingredients.

2. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and molasses on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

3. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or there are no dry spots left, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

4. Still mixing on low speed, add the water one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.

5. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap, shaping it into a flat rectangle, about 1-2" high. Wrap the dough and chill until it is firm, at least 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F.

a. While dough is chilling, make a template for your gingerbread card. You one piece of firm paper, a pen or pencil, a ruler, and a pair of scissors.Cut the template to any size you wish.

7. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Roll the dough with a floured rolling pin, until approximately 1/8" thick.

8. Fit the template on top of the dough, and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into each template shape.

9. Gently place each cut piece of dough on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

10. Bake the dough for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. (Tip: The dough will come out of the oven soft, but firm, and will harden as it cools.)

11. Place the ginger bread on a cooling rack until completely cool.

Process for Royal Icing
1. Make sure there is no fat residue in your mixing bowl by cleaning the bowl and whip attachment with the cut side of a lemon or a paper towel soaked with lemon juice. Wipe the lemon residue from the bowl with a clean towel.

2. Whip the egg whites on medium high until they are frothy. (Tip: The higher the mixing speed, the more quickly the egg whites will become stiff.)

3. Add the cream of tartar and whip on high speed just until stiff peaks form. (Tip: When you think the whites are ready, stop the mixer and remove the whip attachment. Dip the whip in the whites and turn the whip upside down. Stiff peak is achieved when the tip of the egg whites doesn't bend or droop. Periodically check to stiffness to avoid over whipping the whites.)

4. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add about 1/3 of the powdered sugar. Mix on low until the sugar is fully incorporated, then add another 1/3 of the powdered sugar. Repeat this process with the final 1/3 of the powdered sugar.

5. Once all sugar is incorporated, mix on high speed for 5-7 minutes, until peaks hold their shape.

6. If you would like to dye any of the royal icing, remove the portion you would like to dye. Add one drop of food coloring at a time and mix until fully incorporated, stopping when you create your desired color.

7. Store royal icing in a refrigerator with a damp cloth covering the surface and plastic wrap sealing the moisture in. Store different colors in separate containers.

Website: San Francisco Baking Institute


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