And while these cookies are a great way to use up discard, they work just as well this active starter. Either way the tangy taste of sourdough and warm holiday spices combine to bring a deep, but subtle flavor. And with a long ferment you'll get better flavor from your wheat and may achieve some gluten mitigation.
Making these are a brilliant family activity and have been at the Alder home for generations (see Christmas Cut-out Cookies Made with Real Butter). And if any survive the family, they make great gifts for the holiday season, (if you know what I mean—really who can blame family bakers for trying their bakes until they are all gone).
Christmas Sourdough Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Serving: 24 Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes (longer if it is a family activity :-)
Chill/Ferment Time: 4-24 hours (depending if you are trying to mitigate the gluten content)
Bake Time: 15min
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
- 1 cup (220g) brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup (70g) molasses
- ½ cup. (112g) Active Sourdough Starter
- 1 tsp (5g) Vanilla
- 3 cups (375g) All-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. (4.25g) Salt
- 1 tsp (4g) Baking soda
- 1½ tsp (4g) Cinnamon
- 2 tsp (5.5g) Ground ginger
- ½ tsp (1g) Ground cloves
- ½ tsp (1g) Allspice
- ⅓ tsp (0.6g) Cardamom
- Cream the first 5 ingredients in a mixer, using the wire whisk attachment (or use a hand held whisk) for several minutes until light and fluffy
- In a second bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- Add in the dry mixture to the creamed ingredients and mix until just combined, but don't over mix the dough. The dough should be smooth and pliable.
- Wrap the dough and chill it for 4–12 hours.
- When you are ready to bake, allow the dough to warm some on a working surface while preheating the oven to 325° F (165°C).
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Roll out the dough until it is a bout 1/4" thick.
- Using cookie cutters, cut out the shapes you want. Then place them about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10–15 minutes, until they look just barely done, but not too browned on the edges.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Decorate with piped butter cream or royal icing