Monday, December 17, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

One of my family's holiday traditions growing up was making and decorating gingerbread houses. My sisters and I would make them for our teachers, and then we would each have one of our own for at home. It was a LOT of work for my mom, but she came through and made them year after year after year until we began leaving home as adults. Call me chicken, but I wasn't quite ready to venture into gingerbread house making with my 2-year-old. I'm pretty sure he would start acting out The Three Little Pigs story and play the part of the Big Bad Wolf if we made one. I did, however, think it would be fun to make some gingerbread boys and girls with my son to go along with our copy of The Gingerbread Man. So, that's what we did! I used my mom's gingerbread recipe, and Baby Bear and I had a blast making (and eating!) them.

This is my mom's recipe along with a few of my own tips. (I used half of this and got about 3 dozen gingerbread boys and girls. This makes one small house as well as a few people.):
1C oleo softened
1C sugar
2 eggs
1C molasses
6C flour
1T ground ginger
3t baking soda
2t cinnamon

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Mix in ginger, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gradually add flour. Chill for at least one hour (I highly recommend overnight). Roll on a floured surface, and dust both your rolling pin and your hands in flour. Lightly dust your baking pan with flour to prevent sticking. When making a house, use a pan that will not warp in the oven. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes (this is for the people, larger house pieces may take a little longer).

The gingerbread boys and girls Baby Bear and I made. He helped me make the dough the night before. The next morning, we rolled out the dough and had fun with the cookie cutters.

We used some leftover red frosting and mini chocolate chips to decorate the cookies because it was what we had on hand. It worked, and Baby Bear had fun.

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