Holiday Treats: Gingerbread Men

Some of my earliest memories involve getting ready for Christmas.

We would spend days decorating the tree and the house, wrapping presents, counting the days until Santa was arriving, and, of course, baking. Lots and lots of baking. Every year, we would bake scores of cookies and dozens of gingerbread men. From the time we were old enough to sit up, we were involved in decorating the baked goods and it was always a special day.

As time has passed, the tradition for decorating gingerbread men has passed down the generations and into our extended family. A wonderful thing to do with your kids. Thanks, Mom, for the recipe.

Gingerbread Men

3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. Heat molasses to a simmer, remove from the heat, and stir in the butter until it melts. Stir in the brown sugar. Cool.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Along with the egg, stir into the cooled molasses mixture. Mix well, using your hands if needed.
  3. Wrap in wax paper, and chill for one to two hours, or until firm enough to roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a gingerbread cutter. (This recipe is great for large gingerbread men.)
  6. Decorate as desired. Cinnamon candies, candied cherries, currants, raisins, colored sugars all work well.
  7. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet and bake twelve to fifteen minutes. Cool on wire racks.

You can also ice them after they're baked and decorate the icing.

For the icing, 2-3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1 egg white mixed well.

1 comment:

sunbunny said...

I still like my 'buy gingerbread mix and follow directions on box' recipe. :) Molasses is so hard to work with!! My mom always insisted on decorating gingerbread with Red Hots (her favorite candy).

I have similar cookie decorating memories, but they're around a different cookie. I remember thinking I was soooooo surreptitious in sneaking bites of frosting. The pictures of me with icing all over my face suggest otherwise.