Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mixed Media Kit goes to the OVEN

This Mixed Media Project features the very VERSATILE and ORIGINAL October Frog Dog Stencil along with the Art Parts House,  both from our kit.

I have been baking this Gingerbread Cookie recipe for 25 years.  

I bake GIANT Gingerbread Men during the Holidays and give as gifts to family and friends, often packing up the icing and candy decorations for them to dress him up...making it a fun activity for the whole family. 
(He's about 18 inches tall)

I bake Gingerbread Sunflowers and Daisies in the Spring

Gingerbread Leaves in the fall.

& Snowflakes in the winter.

I've even made Starfish, packed in fine sugar, for a beach wedding:)

For my daughters December Wedding, I made large Snowflakes, packaged in individual clear round containers & tied with a beautiful bow.  These were a favor at each person's table setting. Most guests gobbled them up after dinner, they never made it home:)

The Spice combination is perfect in this recipe, and the cookie stays super moist with the perfect amount of "chew" for days (even when left out) but, the "icing on the cake"...or rather the cookie... is truly the thing that elevates this recipe to 
one of my most requested cookies.

Ok, so here's what you need...

Whisk together the dry ingredients & set aside.

Cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and molasses.

Mix until combined, then fold in the dry ingredients.
Stir just until the dough comes together.

The great thing about this dough, is that you don't have to chill it before you roll it out. 
(like sugar cookie or butter cookie recipes) 

You can, but you don't have to.

Here's a little tip I've been practicing for a long time...instead of rolling out the cookie dough out on a FLOURED surface (which after a few rolls, can really make a cookie tough) I use powdered sugar.

Next, I used the ART PARTS house and roof as a template to cut out the shapes.

Use a small spatula to transfer cut shapes to a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake as directed in recipe below.

Once the cookies are cool, the Frog Dog Original Stencil is perfect to add a cute texture to the roof.

Spread the cream cheese icing over the stencil 
with a small off set spatula...just like you would spread modeling paste over chipboard:)

Use the icing as a glue to adhere the roof to the house base.

Place a few cups of the icing in a piping bag to 
add the rest of the details.
(if you don't have a piping bag, you can use a quart/gal size ziplock-cutting off one corner to pipe)

I like the simple look of the white icing on the rich brown cookie, but you could go crazy and add more color and candy to these...especially if you want this to be a fun activity for kids.

Here's the recipe:

*Note: I have an industrial size mixer, so this quantity isn't an issue.  If you have a smaller mixer, cut this recipe in half.

1 C Sugar
1 C Crisco
1 C Molasses
2 egg yolks

4 C flour
1 tsp. salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves, cinnamon
1 Tbs. ginger + 2 tsp.
In medium size bowl, whisk above dry ingredients.

Cream sugar and shortening until well combined. Add molasses and egg yolks, stir until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients until smooth. 

Roll out on a surface that has been covered with powdered sugar.

Cut out shapes & using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place cookies 2 inches apart.

Bake about 10 minutes until slightly brown on edges. I like to "under bake" these. 
When cool, ice away:)

Cream Cheese Icing

3- 4 8oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened  
(if I only have 3, I use 3...using a 4th will make your icing just  a little less sweet....which is how my oldest daughter likes it...also, CHILL the icing for an hour or will "firm up" the consistency for piping and stenciling) 

1 stick of "good" butter, softened (I always use Land O'Lakes)

1- 2lb. bag of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Cream Butter and Cream cheese. Add sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Mix in vanilla and salt.

I hope that you will try this recipe and that it becomes a 
favorite for your family like it has for mine!!

I view Cooking and Baking as ART.  
It is a huge creative outlet for me, and something that I've found great satisfaction and joy doing.  The food I make is always an expression of love for others, and that is the focus of most of the ART I produce...
from Baking to Mixed Media and more.

Reach out and LOVE someone with YOUR art today:)

Thanks for spending your precious time with me, as we share our creative lives!


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