Whenever I think about gingerbread men, I think about Miss Dorothy. As many of you know, my mother passed away when I was young. We lived in a small farming community where everyone knew everyone else. One Saturday in December, Miss Dorothy invited me over to make homemade gingerbread men. She just asked me—normally my younger sister would have been invited as well, but she chose to invite only me. I remember feeling very special that I was chosen to make them with her. We spent a good part of the day making the dough, cutting them out, and decorating them just so. Because she took the time to teach me, I will make gingerbread men for Christmas whenever I can. I’ll never forget her or her gesture.
So many times we think that we have to do a big production to show others we care when really all people need is our time.
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup (160 ml) unsulphured molasses (To prevent the molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, first spray the cup with a cooking spray.)
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk or light cream
Assorted food colors (if desired)
Sift the dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to the wet. Roll gingerbread onto a floured surface. Cut gingerbread into desired shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for approx 10-15 minutes depending on size. Leave the cookies in the sheet for 2 minutes prior to moving to a cooling rack. Enjoy!