Gingerbread Nativity Creche
This gingerbread creche is the flavorful foundation for cookie decorator Dani Fiori's edible Nativity scene. Also try: Donkey Sugar Cookie, Sheep Sugar Cookie
The Martha Stewart Show, December 2011
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- <u>Royal Icing</u>
- Brown gel-paste food coloring
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Place butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4-inch thick. Using creche-shaped cookie cutters, cut one center piece and two end pieces. Transfer to baking sheet. Stick two toothpicks in the bottom edge of each cookie.
- Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
- Meanwhile, mix together royal icing with brown gel paste until desired dark brown shade is reached. Transfer to a small squirt bottle with a wide tip. Draw a wood or faux-bois design on creche. Let dry completely before assembling on foam or on a cake.
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