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Sunday, December 18, 2011

[Gingerbread man cookies] A Christmas staple

I can't help baking hundreds of gingerbread man cookies in December every year.
I love the scent of gingerbread cookies filled in the kitchen and the house.

The only thing is that Gingerbread men tend to run away as soon as they are pulled out of the oven~
Be careful.
One day when Remi was five and smelled gingerbread cookies in the morning, he asked me, "Mommy, didn't any of gingerbread men run away over night?" :)
Thank God. Mommy was fast enough to catch most of them before they jumped down from the cooling rack.
Some of them were caught by ruthless Mr. D and disappeared into his stomach. :(

Remi and his younger brother
expect me to bake gingerbread man cookies in December.
Sorry. But I forgot to take photos of the finished cookies on a plate.
(I'll make a few dozens more this week for kids' school.
I'll take the photos then and upload)

As I baked a lot of gingerbread cookies last week for kids' class parties,
now I have some photos fromt the batch :)

Here goes the gingerbread cookie recipe I've used for years.
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 + 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 Cup yellow sugar
 1 egg
1/3 Cup molasses
Sprinkles (optional)

How to make:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a stand mixer or a hand mixer. 

Of course it's doable without one. But, it's easier with a little help.

3. Add egg,molasses, and vanilla and mix well.

4. Stir in the dry ingredients at the lowest spped, until they are completely absorbed. 

Now dough for the gingerbread man cookies is ready.

5. Divide dough into 2 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inch thick disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one and half hours, or overnight. (I usually make the dough the night before I bake, i.e. 24 hours before)

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C).

7. On a lightly floured parchment paper, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. 

8. Use cookie cutters to cut into gingerbreadman shapes. 

9. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

10. You can draw icing before or after baking. It's up to you. 

I do in either way. 
But a traditional way is decorate icing after cookies are baked and once cooled.

Put sprinkles on the cookies (optional).

11. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. It's always a good idea to turn the baking sheet 180 degrees. 

12.  When the cookies are done, they will look dry.
Cool on wire racks. 
13. You can draw faces with icing once it's cool, if you haven't done before :)

Better finished photos will be uploaded this week. :)

My kids had a play date with friends and they made gingerbread houses last Saturday.

We decorate a gingerbread house every year.
That became our family tradition since when Remi was 2.
We went to a gingerbread cookie house workshop.
But, we started to make one at home since last year.

This year, I bought two gingerbread cookie houses from Michaels.
Now I can tell you that Michael's gingerbread house is not a kids friendly kit.
I rather recommend one from Walmart or Loblaws. :(

Christmas is everywhere now.
Mr. D and I just love Christmas season.

We listen to Christmas carols from September.

We light candles everyday.

We hope for a white Christmas.
But, it seems we are not that lucky this year :(

We buy Christmas tree at IKEA every year. The branches are not as dense as we expect.
But, it's still okay.

Remi and Pablo wrote letters to Santa every year.

And Santa is pretty good at responding.
 Maybe we receive responses earlier because Canada is closer to North Pole

Oh, maybe you don't know Santa's address yet.
Santa Claus' address is,

Santa Claus
North Pole H0H 0H0

Remi wanted to ask a few things to Santa.

I had to remind him that Santa is riding one big sleigh that needed to be filled with all the presents for
all the good kids around the world.
I didn't tell him this, but you don't want Santa to go bankrupt, do you?

Remi and Pablo met two delegates of Santa in the past two weekends,
one at Mr.D's work Christmas party at Scotiabank place, and the other at my company Christmas party.

Santa must be so busy with last minute check before Christmas.

and both boys received some good presents from Santa's delegates.
Pablo got a truck road set which he liked very much.

Have a nice week before Christmas :)

Gingerbread man cookies


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