Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Season of Joy

This Christmas season I'm spending quality time with my kids. Today we baked a fresh batch of Gingerbread Boys. We all enjoyed the process and made sure that everyone got a turn to be involved.

We used to buy the store bought rolls of sugar cookie dough, but this year was special because we made our own dough from scratch. What a difference it makes in the taste. My kids also got to experience feeling a real sense of pride for having done something that they can call "homemade".

Baking Gingerbread boys, so simple and so fun.
It's one of those special things that I get to do with my boys that they enjoy and that I know I'll always remember for years and years.

Recipe from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book

Gingerbread People
Chill: 3 hours
Bake: 5 minutes per batch
View Nutrition Facts Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup butter (or shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
Royal Icing
Assorted colors of paste food coloring

1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ground cloves; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds with an electric mixer. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, molasses, and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in ginger and as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Cover; chill dough about 3 hours, or overnight, or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough using 5-inch gingerbread people cookie cutters. Arrange the cutouts about 1 inch apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Pipe designs on cookies with tinted Royal Icing. Makes about 25 gingerbread people.

To Store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store piped cookies at room temperature for up to 3 days. Freeze unfrosted cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw, and if desired, pipe with icing.

Royal Icing: In a small bowl combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons meringue powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Stir in 1/4 cup warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on high speed 7 to 10 minutes or until very stiff. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional warm water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until of glazing consistency. To tint, divide the glaze into small portions. Add enough paste food coloring or liquid food coloring to each portion to make desired color.


Susan said...

I bet they smelled wonderful baking! and so good to eat too!!!

Mo said...

Yeah!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I really really hope to make them with the kiddos. :)