February 26, 2012

Moving Gingerbread Train Cookie

My motivation to attempt this moving train cookie started when my four year old son was decorating basic gingerbread cookies with frosting. He had a cut-out of a train and after he decorated it he said, "Mommy, I want this train to drive." I thought to myself.....there's really no reason I can't do that! If you want to attempt this you will, however, need a very powerful little moving contraption to build your train around. I used a (modified) wind-up Lego car but some of the Tomica cars are also very powerful and would work quite well.

You will need the following recipes and items:
Gingerbread Cookies
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. molasses
1 egg
5 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
3 t. pumpkin pie spice 

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and brown sugar together. Add molasses and egg. Mix well.
Sift flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice together and add to wet mixture. The dough will be tough to mix. If you have a stand mixer use it! Divide your dough in half, wrap with plastic wrap and chill until firm - about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Draw and cut out a pattern of pieces you will need to cut from the dough to construct a train. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a table knife cut the shapes you will need. Transfer pieces to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12 - 15 minutes. You will want the cookies to be hard enough as to not break during assembly.

Buttercream Frosting
2 lbs confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. water
1 t. vanilla Extract 

In a large mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 c. butter, water, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Melt remaining 1/4 cup of butter in the microwave and add to frosting. Beat again until smooth and creamy.
Using food coloring choose colors and mix until color is consistent. I like to make more frosting and colors than needed.....just in case! You can always refrigerate the leftovers for your next creation. Spoon frosting into prepared piping bags. 

Royal Icing
1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/8 t. cream of tartar
1 egg white 

In a small mixing bowl sift together powdered sugar and cream of tartar. Using and electric mixer add egg white and beat until it can hold its shape. Spoon into a prepared piping bag.
**There is much controversy over using raw eggs in royal icing because of the possibility of bacteria. I only use local organic eggs so I feel fine about it, but feel free to use what ever royal icing recipe you are comfortable with.

Decorating Bags
Decorating Tips and Couplers
Food Coloring
Train Pattern
Candies of some sort to fill the coal car.
Something powerful to move your train!

To see step-by-step photos and instructions please visit http://www.instructables.com/id/Moving-Gingerbread-Train-Cookie/

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