Such a different cut out cookie flavor, isn’t it! I wanted to try something completely different, and wanted to use in-season rhubarb.
I was inspired by a lovely lady working at the check-out counter at my local grocery store, who told me about a gingerbread rhubarb cake she had made on the weekend. (The amount of butter, sugar, eggs etc. I buy generally prompt baking conversations in the grocery line). I thought, mmmm, I could make gingerbread rhubarb cookies… Oh, and paired with a cinnamon royal icing! So, here they are, I hope you love them too!
The dough for this cookie is one of the smoothest, most velvety textures I’ve worked with. In short, for a cookie dough, dreamy. You’ll see in the recipe that I roasted the rhubarb first and then pureed it, so I think the added moisture gives the dough such a lovely smoothness.
The flavor notes are spicy, with a definite gingerbread overtone and rhubarb undertone. You could adjust the flavours by adding more rhubarb flavor extract and/or lessening the ground ginger and ground cinnamon spices. I know it may feel like cheating somehow by using the extract, but to make the rhubarb flavor more intense you’d need more of the rhubarb purée, and then the cut out cookie might not keep its shape well. It’s a bit of a balancing act.
The cookies kept their shape so perfectly, they did not spread one iota. If yours do, check out this post on keeping your cookie edges crisp.
You’ll notice at the stage where you add the molasses, eggs, extract and rhubarb puree, that the mixture is quite liquid, more so than the average cut out cookie dough. Don’t worry, it will all come together once you’ve added the flour, you haven’t done anything wrong!
Speaking of the flour, please feel free to add more if the dough seems sticky. This can happen if your butter is too soft, if it’s really humid outside, if you’ve mis-measured etc. The way to test if the dough is done is by observing it at the very last mixing stage. The dough should peel away from the sides of the mixer and clump around the paddle attachment. You can also test the dough by pinching it between your thumb and index finger. If it’s soft but not sticky, it’s just right. If it’s too sticky when you pinch it between your fingers, add flour, ¼ cup at a time, and mix until you’re happy with the texture.
If you don’t want to use these as cut out or rollout cookies, add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the flour mixture, it will make the cookies rise or spread more. The texture will be lighter and fluffier. (Please excuse the lighting in the photo below).
Thank you to Mom for knitting the pink and white potholders or cloths pictured in many of these photos. I won’t be able to use them to clean, they’re so pretty!
Thank you also to my friend and neighbour Jo-Ann, who let me have rhubarb from her garden! I felt a bit Little-House-on-the-Prairie-ish the morning I walked back from her place with a huge bunch of rhubarb stalks in hand. (And loved it!).
Cinnamon Royal Icing Recipe coming soon! If you’d like to try it with my regular royal icing recipe, here it is.
On to the recipe, below! Let me know if you have any questions, happy to help.
Roasted Rhubarb Gingerbread Cut Out Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsps ground ginger
- 2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp rhubarb flavor extract
- 2/3 cup puréed rhubarb About 4 rhubarb stalks. See recipe for details
- 1/2 cup fancy molasses
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the leaves off of the rhubarb stalks and rinse the stalks with water. Place stalks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar (the sugar is optional). Roast the rhubarb in the oven at for 10-15 minutes, until it is soft. Once out of the oven, place stalks in a blender and puree. Let purée cool for a few minutes before using in dough mixture.
- Cream the butter and brown sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you'd like a light and fluffy cookie, that's ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you'd like the cookie to hold its shape.
- Add the ground cinnamon and ginger and mix.
- Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again. Add the rhubarb extract, mix, add the rhubarb purée, mix, and add the fancy molasses. Mix until just incorporated.
- Add the flour, cover the mixer bowl loosely with a tea towel to prevent flour escaping, and mix. Remove the towel after about 30 seconds. When the dough starts to come together it clumps around the paddle attachment and peels away from the sides of the mixer. That should be the right texture. You can also test the dough by pinching it between your thumb and index finger. If it’s soft but not sticky, it’s just right. If it’s too sticky when you pinch it between your fingers, add flour, ¼ cup at a time, and mix until you’re happy with the texture.
- Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge or freezer for a minimum of 1 hour.
- Cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Re-roll scraps and repeat. If your dough gets too soft to work with, place in the fridge or freezer periodically to firm up again.
- Once all cut out, put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
- Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
- Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate if you like! If you’re new to decorating cookies, I have basic cookie decorating tutorials with everything you’ll need to know to begin on my blog. Have fun!