Merry Christmas! It’s December! This is important for a few, very important reasons. Very Important.
1. Christmas is coming up. This month is Christmas month! Trees, carols, baubles and
2. Christmas cookie time! so super excited. These gingerbread men are just the beginning.
3. More time! NaNoWriMo is OVER. I WON! I’m so excited. I got up to 50,000 on Tuesday the 29th of November, on the train on the way home from the write-in. I validated just in time on Wednesday night. All I’m going to do now is type up my handwritten parts, back it up, print it out and leave it for a month. And then hopefully come back and revise, revise, revise. Writing is re-writing.
4. Gardening. I will get my vegie seedlings up to scratch. I will.
5. More writing! Here! On this blog! So exciting! Get ready!
Sorry, I got a bit excited there. But more cookie-cutting goodness is going to happen here. I’m coming up to my one year blogging anniversary and I’m so excited. There will be cookies. There will be many, many cookies.
Beginning with these gingerbread men. This recipe made 76 fairly regular sized gingerbread men. So many! They almost covered the table. I have another recipe for gingerbread cookies I’d like to try, from Martha Stewart via Smitten Kitchen. It looks lovely.
Mine is a regular kind of gingerbread, and I got it from CakeSpy, who made them into Mad Men style cookies and wrote about them at Serious Eats. I just made them all the same, classic gingerbread men. By the way, you should check out CakeSpy’s blog. She’s an illustrator and a writer and a baker and girl-about-baking-town. She’s also featured in Joy’s (the Baker) new podcast, We’re about to be friends, which you can get at Homefries.com.
Gingerbread is the beginning of a fantastic Christmas season. Get excited.
Adapted from CakeSpy’s column at Serious Eats
I used a stand mixer but some elbow grease and a wooden spoon would do just as well, I feel.
Makes approximately 76 gingerbread men
1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups flour (More would probably not go astray)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Beat together butter, sugar and molasses. Add water. It will look weird. (see photos above). This will pass when you add the dry ingredients.
Sift flour, baking soda and spices together in a medium sized bowl. Mix into wet ingredients in batches. It will be thick and sticky. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 180°Celsius. Roll out dough to about half a centimeter, maybe thicker. Cut out gingerbread men, or snowflakes, or ladies, or whatever you feel like. Bake 10-12 minutes, until it doesn’t give when you touch it.
Let cool on a cooling rack, then decorate with royal icing.
From Martha Stewart
2 egg whites
about 4 cups sifted icing sugar
juice of one lemon
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add in sugar and lemon juice, to the thickness you desire. (if you want thicker, add more sugar; if thinner, add more lemon juice).
Using parchment paper, make a small cone to pipe with. Spoon royal icing into the top and roll to close. Snip a tiny bit off the bottom and pipe the decorations you desire. You can also use decorating sugar, colour your royal icing, whatever you want.