Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"12 Days of Christmas" Day 8, Gingerbread Man Cookies

For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. by Charles Dickens 

 At this time of the year, the aromas that float throughout the house are so delightful. Especially when the kitchen is filled with cookies and baked goodies. It is a whimsical scent that reminds of childhood. As I remince back to when I was a young girl, I can remember my mom’s kitchen all prepared and ready to bake. I think of the sweet molasses, cinnamon, and all the ingredients we would need to bake, our cookies and cakes. My mom had an alumium pan that was in the shape of a gingerbread man, and we would bake a gingerbread cake in it every year. Then after the cake was cooled she would take out the tubes of icing and we would begin to decorate the gingerbread man.

I remember putting the eyes and mouth on with white icing and making a bow tie with the red icing. We always used raisins for the buttons and made sure that we made cuffs for the shoes and hands. Then as I grew up we would make gingerbread men with cookie cutters. We still used the icing in the tubes and would proceed to decorate them as well. I still can see the cheerful faces on the gingerbread cookies that we made in years past as well as my mom‘s face when she would watch me put the smile on the my gingerbread cookie. 

Gingerbread dates back to the 15th century, and biscuit making was practiced in the 16th century. The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuits appearing was in the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had gingerbread figures made and presented them in the likeness of some of her important guests. Recently in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, they had a potential record setting gingerbread man put on display. It was unveiled the world’s largest gingerbread man. It stood 26 feet and 2 inches tall, although its weight is unknown.  

As we come to Day 8, of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” my recipe is “Gingerbread Man Cookies.” I have been making this recipe for many years and it was found on the Domino Sugar box. So, I hope that you can create your own memories in making these wonderful, fragrant, and fun Gingerbread Man cookies.

DAY 8, “Gingerbread Man Cookies” 

3/4 cup-firmly packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup-un-salted butter, softened
1/4 cup-molasses
3 1/4 cups-all purpose flour
2 teaspoons-ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons-baking soda
1/2 teaspoon-each; allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
Sugar icing (Recipe Below) 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease cookie sheets.
Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and molasses. Stir together remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Gradually add to sugar mixture until well blended. Refrigerate dough 1 hour or until easy to handle.
On well-floured surface, roll out half of dough at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on rack. Decorate with sugar icing as desired.  Makes about 24 (5 inch) cookies.

Sugar Icing:
Combine 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and food coloring if desired.

Quick Tip:
To make Cookie Ornamnets, bake cookies as directed. Just after the cookies are baked, use a small straw to create a hole at the top of the cookie. Leave 1/2 inch space from the top of the cookie. It is important to cut out holes while the cookies are still warm. Decorate as desired. Once dry, thread a thin ribbon through the hole to hang as an ornament.


Till Next Time…….. 
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