Those of you that have never made gingerbread cookies, you might think, oh, what a lame gift. However, those of you that have put the hours of intense labor into making dozens of these little ginger ninjas know that this is one of the most time-consuming and love-filled gifts you can give someone. I'm serious, they take FOREVER. Every year I get excited to make them, and then halfway through I vow to make more money the next year so I can buy people real presents.
This year I didn't come home in time to make them for everyone, so I sent out some Christmas cards and decided to just make the gingies for people in Boston. I gave them to my boyfriend's family, my housemate's family, and some guys at my gym.
The trick to not getting sick of them is to use lots of different shaped cookie cutters so that you don't start drawing angry eyebrows on the ginger people when your hand gets tired from icing so many smiling faces.
Old Fashioned Gingerbread People (Gingies)
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker
Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutters
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup (5 Tbs) unsalted butter, softened
7 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps allspice
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves (except I never have them)
|Mix together molasses, brown sugar, and butter until smooth.|
|Dissolve baking soda in water, then add to bowl and mix thoroughly|
|In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients|
|Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, cup by cup. Once the dough starts getting stiff, switch to a dough hook.|
|Cut out desire shapes|
Place cookies about 1-2" apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
I used royal icing to decorate them. It gets much harder and holds its shape better than a traditional confectioners' glaze. Then I use red and green M&Ms for a little color. You can also use colored royal icing or sprinkles.
Merry Christmas, and happy gingie-giving!
Love and cookies,