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Christmas Baking

I love gingerbread.  I think it is the one item that I truly associate with Christmas, even though I do not really remember making it growing up.  My grandmother would spend a day baking multiple cookies and squares with my cousin, who now does it with my mother.  My mother traditionally makes fruitcake among other things, so that there has always been a plate of goodies around during the holidays.

This year I wanted to make some cookies and then be able to share them at work as part of the holiday cards, and to say thanks to the secretaries.  I have been intrigued by the recipes people are sharing and bookmarked a few to try.  I did make gingerbread cupcakes for my students last week (sorry no pics, they ate them too quickly!) from The Cupcake Project, and will be definitely be adding this to next year’s baking list.  But to me, the holiday season is not complete without some gingerbread people.

Image from the Cupcake Project

My mom and I used her 1977 Becky Crocker Cooky Book ‘Gingerbread Boy’ recipe.  Their idea of volume is way off though, as we had 10 dozen cookies without changing the recipe!  They note it should make 2 1/2 dozen 2 1/2″ cookies. Nope!  We tried to balance the men with stars, trees, candy canes and angels, doing a simple white glaze and festive sprinkles.  They were at hit at @WineGuyTO’s office today.

Next up was peanut butter cookies with a twist: they look like Rudolph!  I found this post at Haute Apple Pie and knew that would be a hit. Unfortunately we could not find chocolate covered pretzels in the store, so we made our own!

Rudolph!

Thanks to my mom and @WineGuyTO for helping and being indulgent of my #occupymomskitchen!

Betty Crocker Gingerbread Boys

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cup dark molasses

2/3 cup cold water

7 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp each: salt, allspice, ginger, cloves, cinnamon (I also added in nutmeg)

Mix shortening, sugar and molassess thoroughly.  Stir in water.  Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting.  Blend all dry ingredients; stir in (**I did this mainly by hand and then by hand mixer when it was mostly combined).  Chill (we did almost 2 hours).

Heat oven to 350 F.  Roll dough 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured board.  Cut with cookie cookies. Place  at least a 1/2 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 mins or until no imprint remains when touched lightly.

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