Chocolate Gingerbread Soldiers

Couldn't bring myself to start Christmas stuff - not just yet. I can hold off one more week...I think. I've been dying to do decorated gingerbread men,  I've never done them before. Trying to hold back so I thought I'd make Chocolate Gingerbread men...Choc soldiers ...yeah that's what I'll call them:) They are so cute and that dark chocolate went perfect with gingerbread.  

Don't be discouraged by the recipe like I was, I first used a package of Betty Crocker's gingerbread mix and they were good too. Try what you are comfortable with.

1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar ( you can use raw cane sugar)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
generous grate of fresh nutmeg
pinch black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the butter, milk, and sugar. In a small saucepan heat the molasses to the boiling point, pour over the sugar/butter/milk mixture and stir until the butter is completely melted. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture If needed, add a bit of water to the dough so that the dough sticks together and handles easily. Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick sheet and cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Bake 5 to 7 minutes . Allow to cool completely and then have fun decorating.

Chocolate Royal Icing
4 c powdered sugar, sifted

1 c cocooa powder (I used dark chocolate)
2 Tbsp. meringue powder
5 Tbsp. water +

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully mixed.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any trouble piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)  Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow them to completely dry. Mine were done in about an hour.
Use the remaining thicker icing for decorating.  Gel icing color is best as it does not add a lot of liquid.  Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to keep the consistency how you want it.

Simply Delicious Sunday ~ Tamy


Debbie said…
Those sound really good. I love to make gingerbread and gingerbread men. Thanks for sharing. Mister Linky is up for this week's early edition of Crock Pot Wednesday.