A few years ago, the Mr and I went on a church married couples retreat with some of our friends to Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri. Every evening, a staff member would bring a fresh gingersnap cookie (called Pepparkakor) to our cabin. It’s an old Swedish custom to place the cookie in the palm of your hand, make a wish, and tap the cookie in the center. If the cookie should snap in three, your wish is supposed to come true. If it doesn’t, you’ll just have to enjoy the cookie. I don’t remember whether our cookies broke in three, or even what we wished for, but I do remember the delicious, peppery cookies. The resort was even kind enough to include a recipe card the first night that I have treasured ever since. The best souvenir!
I wanted to surprise my friends with a couple, but my first batch didn’t turn out like I had hoped. They stayed firm and round and domed. No spreading and not very sweet or spicy… I was determined to make a better batch. We are our own worst critics. I am for sure. I shortly thereafter mixed up a second batch (using less flour) for rolling out and cutting with whimsical Christmas shaped cookie cutters before putting them away for the year.
The rolling and cutting went perfectly! They were crispy and ready to be snapped. They certainly looked lovely, but I was disappointed that they were still lacking in sweetness and/or spiciness. I know I followed the recipe card to the letter, but this can’t be the right recipe for the delicious gingery cookie I remember from Missouri.
Not letting this get the best of me, while I was out running errands, I picked up powdered sugar to make royal icing to decorate the cookies to make them a little more enjoyable. With the help of Wilton’s Meringue Powder, I was able to make the perfect stiff royal icing for these cookies!
Royal icing is the pretty, defined icing you see on decorated specialty cookies. Often it doesn’t have much flavor (mine always does), but it is great for adding minute details and elevating design. The royal icing improved the snaps dramatically. It added just the right amount of sweet to go with the mild spices in the cookies. If I were to do this recipe again, I think I would use dark brown sugar and double the spices.
I don’t know what it is, but the older I get the deeper my appreciation for Wilton products grows. They are incredibly affordable while being surprisingly useful and good quality! It’s often said that you get what you pay for, but in this case Wilton delivers fairly good quality for a reasonable price.
When was the last time you decorated cookies with/for those you love?