THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

Gingerbread Boys and Girls Awaiting Transport (Dec. 08)

Figgy Pudding sounded pretty disgusting, until I looked at a few recipes for it. Now, I think I might actually like the moist and spicy fruitcake. In honor of that weird stanza from the song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, this post is dedicated to those special, once-a-year treats that make Christmas memorable.

What's your family's holiday favorite? Our's is Gingerbread men. I've been making those cookies every Christmas for as long as I can remember. Although my sons live in different parts of the world now, they still ask for them. It's funny to see one of my gingerbread men pop up on MSN from China!

GINGERBREAD BOYS AND GIRLS (from a 1980 issue of McCall's magazine)

Cookie Dough

3 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps. ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter or reg. margarine, softened
3/4 cup light-brown sugar, packed
1 egg
3/4 cup light molasses


1/3 cup egg whites (2)
3 3/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1. Day before, make cookie dough: Mix together unsifted flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves.

2. In large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat butter, brown sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Add molasses; beat until well blended. With wood spoon, stir in flour mixture; mix with hands until dough is well blended and smooth. (I find dough too sticky to mix w/hands. Spoon is usually good enough.)

3. Divide the dough into four parts. Wrap each part separately in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight.

4. Next day, lightly grease several cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 375F. Roll one part of cookie dough at a time; keep rest refrigerated until ready to roll out. Roll out on floured board until 1/8 inch thick.

5. Use a 4-inch gingerbread-doll cutter to cut out cookies. (Really, any cutter will do). Place cookies 1 inch apart (to allow for spreading), on cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to wire rack to cool.

6. Meanwhile, make frosting: In medium bowl, with portable electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites with confectioners' sugar to make a smooth, stiff frosting. Cover with damp cloth until ready to use, to prevent drying out.

7. To decorate: Fill a pastry bag with frosting and pipe onto cooled cookie. Let frosting dry thoroughly on cookies before storing them.

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