Hey! Who doesn’t know about these cookies? They seem to be everywhere as part of a traditional holiday; a treat which can’t be beat!
It seems that this sugary confection has been around since the 15th century. Apparently Queen Elizabeth I of England would have such cookies made in the likeness of her important guests. Ah, what better way to make somebody feel welcome but to invite them over then symbolically bite their head off.
Anybody who has seen these cookies knows they are put together in the shape of a human. Indentations in the ginger or the addition of little candies can create the face and other markings on the body. Hmmm, reminds me very much of how we build a snowman.
According to Guiness, the world’s largest gingerbread man was baked at IKEA in Norway on November 9, 2009 weighing a staggering 651 kg. (1,435 lb 3 oz). Wow, now try and bite the head off of that one!
About.Com: Gingerbread Man Cookie (there is video instructions)
To make the gingerbread man cookies, you will need:
* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp ground ginger
* gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutters
* raisins, or candies
* tubes of icing
Mix the Gingerbread Man Wet Ingredients
In an electric stand mixer, add the butter and the brown sugar. The butter should be at room temperature. You see how this gets nice and creamy. Next, pour in the molasses and blend it in. Once the molasses have been added, sift in the flour a bit at a time, mixing as you go.
Add the Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, sift the cinnamon, the salt, the baking soda, and the ginger. Mix them together and then, add them to the bowl. Blend well. If you find that the dough is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the mixture and blend again.
Chill the Cookie Dough
Once the dough has been mixed, wrap it in plastic and chill the dough for about 1-3 hours before cutting, so it’s easier to work with. When the dough is ready to be cut, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out the Cookie Dough
Place some dough on a flat surface, and use a rolling pin to flatten it onto wax paper. Next, flour your cookie cutter to prevent the dough from sticking to its sides.
Cut Out Gingerbread Man Shapes
Then, begin cutting the dough out in gingerbread man shapes. I have one larger cutter, and one smaller one. Use a knife to pull away any extra dough.
Bake the Gingerbread Man Cookies
Once you have cut all of the gingerbread men out of the dough, carefully transfer them to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet with a spatula. You could bake them just as they are and fully decorate them later. Or you could add raisins or small, round candies to the gingerbread men now. Buttons are always a nice touch.
Place the gingerbread men in the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough.
Decorate the Gingerbread Men
After the gingerbread men have cooled, they’re ready for the final decorating. Using the frosting, draw faces, clothes, and even hair – be creative. Remember, the more detailed the gingerbread men, the more likely they’ll run off their plate and into your guests’ mouths!
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