Today we have a guest blogger from the frozen north. Mary Wallgren, a longtime friend of Hazel’s, is now living in northern Idaho (Hazel and I spent our childhood in northern Idaho, so we know all about that December weather–which I, personally, hope never to experience again!) Mary has very kindly shared her recipe for gingerbread men.
I just got back from our December bunco night and cookie exchange. Claudia hosted a great party, and her home was decorated beautifully for the festive season! If you haven’t participated in a holiday cookie exchange, I would highly recommend it. Last month we agreed to each bring four dozen cookies for the exchange. While I considered making frosted sugar cookies, my husband’s favorite, I thought it would be fun to take gingerbread men, my personal favorite and a holiday tradition since I was a little girl. I haven’t had a Christmas without them. One of the fun things about a cookie exchange is getting to try new recipes and having a wonderful assortment of treats for all of your holiday guests. The cookies also make great hostess gifts if you don’t want to be tempted to eat them all yourself. While I know some people bake dozens of five or six different cookie recipes for the holidays, I never do. With the cookie exchange, I get a wide variety to enjoy.
The exchange itself is simple. Display all of the cookies on one table and determine how many cookies each participant gets. Each person goes around and puts her share of the cookies in a second container. (Don’t forget to bring a container for your share.) If you like, you can take copies of your recipe, or send out electronic copies when you get home. For convenience, you can also prepackage your cookies in sandwich bags, if you know how many people will be at the party.
Our party had a great assortment of treats, including: chocolate chip cookies, lemon delights, brownies, snicker doodles, chocolate crackle cookies, chocolate cherry mice and the gingerbread men. Every cookie was fabulous!
Here is my mother’s recipe for gingerbread. Enjoy!
½ cup margarine
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
¼ cup light molasses
(Note: Spray a measuring cup with Pam so the corn syrup and molasses won’t stick)
Sift, mix together, and stir into syrup mixture:
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Add: ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
Add alternately and mix thoroughly:
2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup buttermilk
Chill dough, then roll out one-quarter-inch thick on floured surface. Keep dough cool until you roll it out.
Cut out gingerbread men and decorate with candy, nuts, colored sugar, and cake decors.
If you have lots of time or a lot of help, you can also cut out bits of gingerbread to add clothes and shoes. (A garlic press works great to make hair.)
Bake 10 – 15 minutes at 375 degrees.
Makes 24 to 26 four-inch gingerbread men.