Holiday Baking, Part 2

Last night, I continued working on those cookies I started making earlier in the week. I was using the Gingerbread Cookie recipe that came with the cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma:

Williams-Sonoma 3-D Holiday Cookie Cutters
These decorating supplies have be sitting on the counter since Monday night, and still haven’t been used.

The recipe was a bit fussier than I wanted it to be. I’m all for detail, but this was … fussy. After making up the dough, it had to be refrigerated 2 hours to 24 hours (which is fairly common in gingerbread dough in my experience). Then you had to take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 10 minutes. The dough then had to be rolled out (until approximately 1/4″ thick) between two pieces of parchment paper, which sounds like a good idea but is a pain in the butt. It meant there wasn’t any excess flour on the dough, but it was awkward anyways. Then you could cut out the cookies as desired. Each 3D figure had multiple parts that I had to make sure I had the correct number of. The snowmen only had bodies and bases (or butts, if you’re like me and find that juvenile-y funny), as did the trees, but the reindeer had bodies and legs (1 body, 2 legs), and the sleigh had a body and… some other part (cut 2 of each). Additionally, each part, since they were all different sizes, cooked at different times. The reindeer legs only needed 5 minutes, while the tree bases needed 9.

After cutting out the cookies and placing them on a cookie sheet, they were not ready to be put into the oven.
No, they had to go back into the refrigerator to “firm up” for 20 minutes!
Here are some cut out cookies waiting for room in the fridge.
Used cookie cutters.
Finally, the cookies are ready to go into the oven.

I set off the smoke detector twice while baking last night. Note that there was never any actual smoke in the house, but it did get quite warm in the kitchen, and the smoke detector is approximately four centimeters from the stove. I had fun learning how to cool down the house and try to get the detector to stop deafening me. The cats got freaked out, however.

This is where I found Korben, hiding:

The “end” result looks good. It took me almost two hours to do the cutting out and baking etc because of all the fussiness involved, so I was glad that Royal Icing recipes [link removed] (haven’t used that one, can’t recommend it one way or another) had said to let the cookies cool completely (and therefore I had planned to do that another day altogether). [Editor’s note: I do, however, highly recommend this Marbled Chocolate Meringue [link removed] recipe from Williams-Sonoma. I made them this year and they were delicious, and really easy too.]

Cooled cookies, just waiting to be decorated.
I hope I don’t do a terrible job trying to make them look pretty, and that the 3D ones turn out halfway decently.
Bonus picture: Korben being all cute.