I tried Julia's Gingerbread and Sugar cookies recipes. LOVED the dough in both the cases. I didn't even want to bake the cookies and just eat the dough, the consistency and taste both were amazing.
This was my first attempt at gingerbread, we all loved the fragrance and taste of it, at home. Thank you @Julia M. Usher for being so amazing and doing what you do! You are my cookie hero!
I followed both your recipes very closely and the sugar cookies came out amazing.
The Gingerbread however, spread a lot. Maybe, I made some mistakes?
I sifted the flour (force of habit). However, I weighed the flour instead of using spoon measurement, so it should probably not matter that I sifted it?
Immediately, after the dough was ready, I rolled the dough to 6mm thickness since I do not have 3/16 inch or 5mm roller guide and cannot eyeball it and then put it in the refrigerator. So, I first rolled it and then refrigerated it and also rolled it thicker than recommended.
Also, instead of resting it in the fridge for 3 hours, I left for 7 hours (didn't have time to take it out earlier) When I took it out for cutting the cookies, it had puffed a bit (something like macarons developing the "feet" and also had small pores in it) So, I thought that maybe the leavening agent was causing the puff and pores?
After baking 3 inch cookies (rolled to 6 mm thickness) for 10 minutes and cooling it, the cookies at the edge were crispy (that's how I like it) and in the middle were chewy(instead of soft)
I saw Julia's video about Gingerbread dough and also read the other posts on this forum around spreading. I understand that if I halve the baking soda, it will reduce the spread.
However, I want to understand what might have gone wrong yesterday? If I want to maintain Julia's recipe and want to attain the same results, what could I have done differently? maybe the freezing for lesser time? first chilling then rolling? 3/16 inch thick cookies?
Substitution related questions:
If I want to remove all the spices from the gingerbread recipe, should I substitute the spices quantities with flour of the same quantity? Or should I keep every other ingredient the same quantity and just not add spices?
If I want to keep crisco as it is (and not substitute it with coconut oil) and yet want to substitute molasses with honey (should I add exactly same amount of honey as the amount of molasses called for in the recipe)?
Thank you for bearing with my long post. Appreciate your help.
P.S.: Attaching pictures of gingerbread cookies for reference