(click on any of these pictures to see full size)
Choo Choo! Hop aboard the Cookie Train to the Gingerbread Forest! It’s a winter party with moose, reindeer, bears, and a gingerbread boy & girl. I used Impress!™ Cookie Press Shapes from the Trains, Christmas, Gingerbread, Winter and Mountain/Cabin Disk sets, pressed in two batches: Vanilla-Honey Spritz and Molasses Ginger dough. I slathered a big platter with white icing to provide the snowy landscape. Here’s a look at the Gingerbread and Trains sets:
With the 150+ new disk shapes from Impress!™, there’s a whole new world of cookie shapes to create with your cookie press. I played around with plates of gingerbread people, Christmas cookies, trains, moose, and reindeer. Here’s a bunch of the ways I had fun with these disks, and the recipes I used to create the fun winter train diorama.
To make these yummy winter sweets, you’ll need a cookie press, the disks of your choice and the ingredients listed in the two spritz recipes.
Start by making Molasses Ginger Spritz:
The key to great spritz cookies is the dough. It has a particular consistency that when made right, presses smoothly, quickly and easily.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
½ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons plus 1 tsp molasses
1 ½ Tablespoons vanilla
3 ¾ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
Gather your ingredients and disks. Choose whatever disks you want to make just the presentation you’re looking for.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream the butter well. Add the sugar & cream it very well again. Add the honey, molasses, then vanilla & egg; beat well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking powder and salt. Add it slowly to the butter mixture, just until the flour is mixed in. DO NOT over-mix! Spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
Place your dough in the cookie press and press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. With any spritz dough, never be upset by the first few shapes coming out wrong. It happens to the most experienced pressers. Just throw them back in the dough bowl to be re-pressed. Sometimes it takes a few misshapen blobs to get the pressure built up right in the barrel. Once you get a good shape, keep a nice steady rhythm. If you have a “one-click-per-cookie” type press, note that sometimes it takes a little less or a little more than one click. Experiment to find what works! You’ll get it!
You may want to flatten the dough ridges on your Gingerbread Boys and Girls. The ridges are a natural result of the pressing process and often give a nice, sharp, defined, three dimensional quality to pressed cookies, but gingerbread cookies are traditionally very flat- so feel free to flatten them to attain the look you want!
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove quickly from sheet & cool on rack.
Now whip up a batch of Vanilla-Honey Spritz for colored trains and green trees!
Impress!™ Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Gather your disks and ingredients.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream the butter well. Add the sugar and cream it very well again. Add the honey, then vanilla and egg; beat well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add it slowly to the butter mixture, just until the flour is mixed in. DO NOT over-mix! Remember: spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
Divide the dough into five bowls and use gel food dye (liquid will change your dough consistency too much) to color them red, blue, green, and yellow. Leave one small bit of dough plain to make the RR Crossing Signs. Load the dough into your press barrel and get pressing!
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. All ovens are different, so check that first batch early- at 6 or 7 minutes to gauge your baking time. Let sit for just a minute or two then remove from the cookie sheet and cool on rack.
And that’s it for baking! Decorate and present your cookies however you wish. And if you want to create a diorama, just use white icing to create a snowy look (and to use as “glue” to make the shapes stand up). Create forests of trees, longer trains, herds of moose or reindeer… the possibilities are endless.
The Happiest of Baking to you!
Disk Designer/Recipe Developer at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
Our website with more recipes and over 200 disks in 30 disk themes: http://stores.impressbakeware.com/
Our Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/Impress-Bakeware/pages/12702786011
If you’d like to see more disks, be sure to check out www.impressbakeware.com for over 200 disk designs and many more recipes and ways to use a cookie press. You can press icing decorations on cupcakes, make chocolate truffles, crackers, peanut butter spreads, pumpkin mousse parfaits, and much more.
The candy eyes I used here can be found at: http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/3/16-in-Candy-Eyes-Assorted-Colors—1000-Count-Pack.aspx