Thursday, December 16, 2010

Choo Choo Cookies

Last NIght we attended grandson Max's Christmas Program. Max is in PreSchool and I made these Choo Choo for him to share at the after party. Each Christmas Season, I make them for our neighbors and they are always a hit.

Gingerbread never tasted so good!  Here's the recipe....skootch on down the page to see how they get built...
Prep: about 30 minutes
Chill: 3 Hours or so
Bake: 5-6 minutes 
Oven: 375〫F
Makes 3-4 dozen small/medium cookies or 15 large train cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

1 recipe of Powered Sugar Icing
assorted candies as desired... for these, I used candy Spearmint Leaves, Red & Green M & M's

Please Note:  I use my heavy duty KitchenAid Mixer as this is a very dense dough. It mixes all of the dough, without having to add any by hand. Just be sure to switch to the bread dough kneader when adding the flour!

1. In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, & cloves.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg, & vinegar until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.  Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough (I put the dough in larger zip-lock bags) 
about 3 hours or so.

2.  Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.  On a lightly floured surface (I use a hugh plastic cutting board for this part), roll half of the dough at a time until 1/8 inch thick,  Using a cookie cuter, cut into desired shapes.  Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. I cook 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven. 

3. Bake in a 375〫oven for 5-6 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.  If desired, decorate cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing & Candies.  ENJOY!

  PoWeReD SuGaR ICiNG  

Start to Finish: 10 minutes
Makes: 1/2 cup

1 cup sifted powered sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure almond flavoring
2-3 tablespoons milk  

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, almond flavoring & milk.  Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to reach spreadable consistency.  

Note:  You may substitute Vanilla flavoring, for the Almond flavoring if desired. 

Gather Ingredients....

Mixing, Mixing, Mixing. 
The Mighty KitchenAid at work....Lovin' My Power Tools

 Divide and Conquer!
Then, off to do a bit of Chillin' in the Fridge.

After chilling, roll out to about 1/8" and cut your shapes. 
Don't be a slow poke, you do not want unchilled dough!

Out of the oven and stacked, after cooling on wire racks.

Choo Choo's decorated with Icing, Spearmint leaves
 (cut in half, so that they are not so thick),
& red and green M& M's.

 Holiday Express!

All Wrapped up in cello bags and tagged for the Big Event!

Merry Christmas from Max!
compliments of his Nana

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