Gingerbread men are never my first choice cookie. I like the cute shape and icing decoration, but I'm just not a huge ginger fan. So why did I spent hours making the dough, cutting the cookies, baking and decorating them? Ah, a story.
Well, a certain someone - perhaps a member of my immediate family - was at the house of a friend. And since he has few social graces (see why I didn't name him?) he spotted a gingerbread cookie in their kitchen and ate it. This caused great distress to the rightful owner of said gingerbread cookie. Ever since, I have been begged to create a replacement. I finally acquiesced.
I did have a slight problem with the dough being too sticky, so I had to flour and flour again - resulting in cookies that were a little dusty after baking. I probably should have tried to clean off some of the flour before baking. Oops.
I was actually freaking out throughout this entire process, because I was scared of this dough. It calls for molasses, a product I had never used before. When I opened the jar, I immediately cringed from the smell. To me it smelled like soy sauce - not a product I would want in my cookies. But after baking the cookies had a light, ginger taste and no strange taste. Phew!
As for decorating - I used royal icing to create the traditional face and buttons (and a few ties). It wasn't quite at the consistency I wanted, but my problem is that I don't find that out until I've put it in a piping bag and begun decorating. And at that point I'm too lazy to take it back out again. Oh well.
I got bored about three cookies in so I went with several faces - smiling, frowning and my favorite, surprised. Most of them got the classic three buttons, but as I said, a few got ties, and a couple even got shirts! Of course it made the rest feel uncomfortable being naked.
Do you think I've ever used the word naked on this blog before? Update: I have.
Tip of the Day:
Recipe: (adapted from Food.com - formerly Recipezaar)
6 tbsps (3/4 cup) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsps vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and molasses. Mix in the vanilla.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Divide the dough in two and wrap discs in plastic wrap.
Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or up to 8.
Roll out dough on a well floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out shapes, and place on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake on 375 F for 9 to 10 minutes.
With a metal spatula, remove from pans immediately and cool on a wire rack.
Decorate with royal icing if desired.