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GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS TREE COOKIES
Food & Drink
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1/3 cup dark molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
For the Icing:
1 1/2 tbsp egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
5 to 6 drops green food coloring
For the cookies:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses, mix well.
In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well with the mixer. Use your hands to form a large ball, the dough will be a little sticky.
Wash and dry your hands. Place flour on your hands so the dough doesn't stick to you, then divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
After the dough has chilled 2 hours, preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keep the other refrigerated while you do so.
Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it's a little sticky. Trim the uneven edges off to square the dough, then using a knife cut the dough into 3 1/2 inch strips. Then cut the strips into triangles.
Place the cookies 1 or 2 inches apart on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.
For the icing:
Mix the egg whites with lemon juice. Combine with powdered sugar, mixing well then add a few drops of green food coloring until you get the color you desire.
If the icing is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar, if it's too thick add a drop of lemon juice or water. Transfer to a piping bag to decorate cookies when cookies are cooled.
To decorate, pipe the cookies with the frosting one at a time, quickly adding the sprinkles before it hardens.