Baking Confession: Last year was the first year I ever baked Gingerbread Men. Ever ever.
It seems crazy, given how often I bake, but I have a great reason: A dear friend, Sue, used to make us a stash of gingerbread men every year, so there really was no need for me to add to the pile.
Sue’s were crispy over-baked, sunken-eyed, slapdash frosted, creatures, and I loved every bite.
She gave “made with love” its literal meaning.
Sue’s much coveted gingerbread men:
When Sue died, I knew if I was ever to have a gingerbread cookie again, it would be up to me to bake them.
My first try turned out fat, fluffy, googly-eyed aliens.
The best part was they tasted just like Sue’s and made me believe in Christmas all over again.
No matter. I’ll try again this month.
Wanna join me in the fun?
Gingerbread Men Cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Assorted decorations (Red Hot candy and raisins)
In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
On floured surface, roll dough 1/4 inch thick.
Cut with floured gingerbread cutter or other shaped cutter.
On cookie sheet, place cutouts about 2 inches apart.
Place candy or raisins before baking.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched.
Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker
Happy Baking (and decorating), y’all!