November 15, 2009

Family Circle Gingerbread Men

I found this recipe in the November 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine. The boy spied all the gingerbread men arranged on a platter in the cover photo and immediately started asking to make them. I am not the best baker, but this recipe looked simple enough that even my little helper and I could handle it. This is my first crack at baking/decorating these type of cookies, so hopefully they will turn out yummy and aesthetically pleasing. I will make sure to post pics of the final product later on.

Family Circle Gingerbread Men
From: November 2009 issue, Family Circle magazine

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons of baking soda
1 Tablespoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup of packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup of original molasses
Red hot cinnamon candies, for decorating
Tubed white icing for piping

1) In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2) In a separate large bowl, beat the softened butter and brown sugar until smooth (I used a handheld electric mixer). Beat in egg, then molasses. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Divide dough into 2 halves. Wrap; CHILL FOR 2 HOURS.

3)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll half of the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut shapes with assorted-sized gingerbread cookie cutters; transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Reroll scrap cuts. Repeat with rest of the dough.

4) Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool. Decorate with icing and assorted candies.

Jen's Notes:
I made a couple of subtle substitutions for our cookies. First, I did not have unsalted butter. I just used regular salted, which worked out fine. Then, the magazine has a recipe for Royal Icing, but I didn't use it. I already had tubed icing on hand and I reasoned that it would be easier to work with, considering I have a 3 1/2 year old assistant baker. Lastly, I don't have assorted gingerbread cookie cutters. I just have one size (it looks to be a 4 inch one), so that is what I used.

The cookies on the magazine cover don't have faces,which I think is a little strange. They look like little gingerbread drones. I think ours will have faces...that will make biting their heads off more fun, anyway!!!

Here is my assistant, hard at work mixing the dough. Notice his baking apron, t-shirt, and Spiderman underwear. looks like he had to sample some of his handywork. I spy a little cookie dough at the corners of his mouth.

The Result:
This was a really fun project to do with my son. I think as gingerbread cookies go, this recipe is probably mediocre...really, nothing special. The cookies themselves tasted okay, but are super-crunchy. Personally, I like a more chewy cookie; but as it has been explained to me that gingerbread is usually pretty darn crunchy.

The fun part was decorating these guys and getting my little one involved in the whole process. I love that he is old enough to enjoy helping me in the kitchen. The decorated cookies did not turn out "magazine cover" beautiful, but I am okay with that. All in all, I would certainly make gingerbread men again...maybe just look for a better recipe. I would recommend this baking project for something neat to do with your kids!!!


Pamela said...

So cute! I think our boys would get along swell! We often cook or bake in our underwear! Well...they do, not me! :o) Can't wait to see the finished product.

Claire said...

I'm with Pamela--most of the baking that Will helps with is done without some piece of his clothing.