Want to show off your mad cookie decorating skills? Enter the King Arthur Flour Holiday Cookie Decorating Contest. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 King Arthur Flour gift card and a $5,000 donation to the hunger-related charity of his or her choice.
You gotta love King Arthur Flour. This holiday cookie decorating contest is a perfect example of their compassionate corporate ethos. Not only are their products of the highest quality (my husband won’t make popovers with any other flour), but it is a great employee-owned company out of Vermont that has won numerous workplace and product awards. A founding B-Corporation, they are committed to environment, employees, products, and community so you can feel good about not only about how good your baked will taste but also where you are spending your big green purse dollars.
How To Enter
Bake a snowman or gingerbread person. Dress it up: use icing, sugar decorations, and your imagination. Take a photo, select a category and submit. Fans will vote for their favorites; and top vote-getters will qualify for final judging by King Arthur Flour’s expert decorators.
Participants may select from the following categories:
- Most Creative
- Standout Execution
- Kids (10 and under)
- Cookies Celebrating Public Service*
- Firefighters, teachers, military, etc.
As mentioned, King Arthur Flour’s panel of judges will select a grand prize winner and five category finalists from the top five vote-getters in each category. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 King Arthur Flour gift card, and a $5,000 donation to the hunger-related charity of his or her choice. The four finalists will each receive a $100 gift card, plus a $500 donation to charity.
Submit a photo of your gingerbread person or snowman on the King Arthur Flour Holiday Cookie Contest Facebook application or through Instagram using #kafcookiecontest before 11:59pm EST on December 15, 2014.
To get you started, here is King Arthur Flour’s gingerbread cookie recipe:
Prep time: 25 mins. to 40 mins.
Cook time: 8 mins. to 10 mins.
Total time: 1 hrs 33 mins. to 1 hrs 50 mins.
Yield: 3 dozen 3-inch cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
- Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
- Divide the dough in half, and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out several baking sheets; there’s no need to grease them, though lining with parchment saves effort on cleanup.
- Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface, and the dough. Roll it out as thin or thick as you like; for slightly less crisp cookies, roll it out more thickly.
- Use flour under and on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the table or rolling pin. Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour. For soft dough, or dough to be rolled extra-thin, you may choose to roll right onto the ungreased back of a baking sheet.
- Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste
- Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if you’ve rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Decorate the cookies with Royal Icing or Simple Cookie Glaze and food safe markers.
Tips from the King Arthur Bakers
- To make a hard cookie glaze, thin some of the frosting with a little more water. Dip the top of a cooled cookie into the frosting, then sweep across the top with a spatula to remove the excess. At this point you can sprinkle the wet glaze with colored sugar and let it dry, or put another color on top and swirl it through with a toothpick.
- To keep the frosting in a pastry bag from hardening at the tip, place the pastry bag inside a second, uncut bag. This will shield the open tip from the air, and keep the frosting from leaking out.
- When decorating, here are some of the tools you may find handy to have on hand: craft paintbrushes for spreading frosting; toothpicks for drawing one color through another; tweezers for placing sugar decorations, and colored sugars for sprinkling over wet icing.
Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour