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“Several years ago I experimented with dough and patterned rolling pins and found that the gingerbread I was using made a perfect soft cookie with some adjustments to the butter and sugar, and the addition of a little extra molasses and corn syrup. The dough also kept the impression from an antique pin I had, and when it was glazed and cut into rectangles, the cookies looked like tiles with glaze settling into the grooves.” The recipe also appears in her new book Tartine.
For the gingerbread 3¾ c. all-purpose flour 1 tbsp. cocoa powder 4 tsp. ground ginger 1½ tsp. ground cloves 2 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1¼ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature ¾ c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar 1 large egg ½ c. blackstrap or other dark molasses 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
For the glaze 1 c. confectioners’ sugar 2 tbsp. water
1. To make the dough, combine flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Beat butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth and soft. Add egg and mix well, followed by molasses and corn syrup. Beat until incorporated.
3. Stop mixer to scrape down sides of bowl. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a rectangle about 1-inch thick on a large piece of plastic wrap, cover it with the wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap dough and place on a floured work surface. If using a plaque with a design or patterned rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/3-inch thick. Lightly dust the top with flour, press your cookie molds over the dough, and cut out the shapes with a small knife. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about one inch apart.
6. Bake until lightly golden along the sides but still soft to the touch in the centers, 7-15 minutes. (Timing will depend on the size.) Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 10 minutes.
7. In the meantime prepare glaze by whisking confectioners’ sugar and water until smooth. While cookies are still warm, brush a light coat of glaze on the top of each. When the glaze dries, it should leave a shiny, opaque finish.
Kitchen Notes: Sift confectioners’ sugar before combining it with water to ensure a smooth glaze. If you are using a pin with a carved design, make sure to flour the top of the dough so it doesn’t stick in the crevices of the pin. The patterned pin and cookie plaques are often sold as springerle molds or pins, after the Scandinavian cookie traditionally made with them.