Here’s a fun way to bring the Boardwalk into your kitchen and all your holiday celebrations! Make some Gingerbread Curley’s Fries!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt & pepper in a medium bowl & set aside for now.
In a large bowl, beat the butter & vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the brown sugar & beat until the mixture is light in texture & color (about 2 minutes). Beat in the molasses & egg. With a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Don’t worry if it’s a little sticky at this point.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap or wax paper. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours (according to food network). If you’re in a rush, throw it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes until it’s stiff, but not frozen.
Make Cookie Cutters
While the dough is setting, you can make your Curley cutters. Take a large soup can and cut it in half. Bend the halves into a zigzag shape to mimic Curley’s famous crinkle cut. I wrapped one end in electrical tape so I didn’t cut myself. When you’re finished, you should have two Wolverine style tools for cutting Curley cookies.
Creating the Cookies
Remove the dough from the refrigerator/ freezer & let it sit at room temperature for a bit until it’s warm enough to roll out without cracking. Sprinkle flour on your work surface & get your hands good & powdered. Roll the dough into the size of a medium potato (yes, seriously).
Make sure the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface (it probably is, so just sprinkle more flour down). Cut straight down into the dough as pictured above. Then, pull the pieces apart, lay them flat and trim the edges so they’re not too thick. Most of mine were about an inch and 1/2 thick because I like my gingerbread fries soft and chewy. Cut them thinner for crunchy cookies.
Transfer them to (nonstick) cookie sheets. Give the cookies some space on the sheet so they can grow and not lose their shape.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
TRADITIONAL ROYAL ICING
Note: This icing becomes hard & shiny. Use immediately or store in an airtight container until cookies are ready to decorate. You can refrigerate it for a couple days if needed.
1 pound (4 1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar
3 egg whites
In a medium bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar, egg whites on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high until the icing is firm, shiny & thick enough for piping. See? Easy. Separate into smaller bowls & mix in some food coloring for a little personality.
For Cheese Yellow: dump a bunch of yellow food coloring into the icing and a teeny bit of orange. Stir thoroughly until you get your desired color.
For Ketchup Red: Mix Christmas Red food coloring and add brown until you get the perfect ketchup color.
Coat your fries in yellow and let them dry or make little icing dippers and enjoy!
Merry Christmas, everyone!