Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Men

I know, I know, two posts in one morning?!? But, its really early and I can't do anything without waking everyone in the house up and compromising my precious time alone without someone wanting to dangle from my limbs. So, I thought I'd catch up on my blogging.
After making my snowflake cookies a few days ago, I had some leftover royal icing that I hated to throw away. So I searched online for a gingerbread cookie recipe. I can't believe I've never taken the time to make gingerbread men. Isn't that suppose to be a Christmas tradition? Doesn't everyone make gingerbread men at Christmas? OK maybe not in real life, but it seems like a good idea!
So, I found a recipe online and I tweaked the recipe a bit since these were for my little girl's classmates. If you have never had real gingerbread, it can be extremely spicy and bold. Not a favorite with most kids. So, I used honey to cut some of the molasses flavor. That seemed to do the trick. They still had a gingerbread flavor, but much more mild. The kids seemed to enjoy them.
These would be perfect to let your little ones decorate. Just make sure to tie the end of the decorating bag off with a rubber band. Now.....just ask me how I learned that little tidbit of information. Unfortunately, it was a lesson learned from experience :)

Gingerbread Men
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup molasses (unsulfered, if possible)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1.Cream shortening and sugar. Sift flour with salt, soda and spices. Blend flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with molasses, honey and water. Chill at least 1 hour.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
3.Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with large 6-8 inch gingerbreadmen cookie cutters. Lift onto lightly greased cookie sheet withspatula.
4.Bake above oven center for about 12 minutes or until cookies spring back lightly in center. Do not overcook, they won't stay soft. Remove from sheets. Cool on wire racks. Makes 10 men 6-8 inches tall. After cooling, decorate with royal icing. You could also make a hole at the top of the gingerbread man before baking and use them as ornaments.

Royal Icing:
3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons water
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
Beat together for 7-10 minutes until peaks form.


Jeffrey said...

Whoa! The kids are gonna love this recipe, thanks! I'll make a batch after the kids visit the dentist here in Greenville. Dentists are conveniently located blocks away from our house so I can just pick the kids up after work and surprise them with the cookies! Although I think I should stock up on these cookies since my nephews also live nearby, here in Greenville, SC. Dentists for the family might get busy after feeding the kids cookies though! hahaha.