Gingerbread, Part II
So, with the house completed, it was cookie time!
Making gingerbread cookies is always something I look forward to, even when I was little. Except for the chilling the dough part. I've never liked that part.
So, dad and I made the dough this morning as a tag team (thankfully I didn't get called in to sub today, or I would have missed out on that too). Meanwhile, we ate lunch, caroled/played/rang bells for the Salvation Army kettle, and I worked on some homemade Christmas presents. And it was still only barely the three hours of chilling. It always seems like it's forever somehow.
Here's our beloved old family recipe for the dough:
1 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup molasses
2 Tbsp vinegar
5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
Cream shortening and sugar with an electric mixer.
Beat in the egg, molasses and vinegar.
Stir together the dry ingredients and slowly add to the wet ingredients. You may have to use your hands for the last bit.
CHILL 3 HOURS.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
Bake shapes 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet for 5-6 minutes.
One other habit I've taken with me from the gingerbread making of my childhood is using tiny cookie cutters. They drive my dad nuts because it makes so many of them. I tried to be good this year and I only made a few.
We also made them thicker this year . . . which meant we only had about 4 dozen instead of the 6 dozen or so that I think we usually make. It meant a lot less time decorating. And I think we would have run out of frosting anyway.
I used to be one of those kids who wanted all red and green on the gingerbread men, but I've matured to making them all white with silver dragees as accents. Maybe it was the Martha Stewart effect. We may never know.
I also tend to make couples when I am decorating the men and ladies. Dad thinks it's because I am a hopeless romantic. I blame Jane Austen. These two are my favorite couple -- ready for a night out somewhere.
Our dog also loves it when we make messy things like gingerbread. She loves sitting under my feet and it drives me crazy sometimes. But today she just plain laid on my feet. It works, I guess. She was certainly the first to know if I dropped anything.