Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gingerbread Bats and Pumpkins, What fun!

Emmett and grandma, (that would be me) made some gingerbread bats, ghosties, and pumpkins last week. We had so much fun! Emmett especially loved testing the frosting.....
and again.....
and again. I wonder what time he went to sleep that night? Giggle! We used my favorite gingerbread recipe. It's definitely time tested as I used it numerous times to win grand champion of the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer Gingerbread House Contest. Here's the recipe so you can start planning now for creating your own gingerbread cookies, or even a house for the holidays.

Gingerbread Dough
5 c. flour, 1 t. salt, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1/2 t. cloves, 3 T. cinnamon, 1 t. ginger
1- 1/8 t. baking soda, 1 c. shortening, 1-1/4 c. sugar, 1 egg well beaten,
1 c. light molasses, slightly warmed, 1/3 c. water

Sift together 1 c. flour, salt, spices and soda. Cream shortening, then add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, then slightly warmed molasses. Stir water into mixture. Stir in sifted flour and spice mixture gradually. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time, until dough is soft and moist to the touch of your finger. Cover and chill 6-8 hours. Roll out on oiled foil to 1/4 or 1/8th inch thickness. Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes. If you are making house pieces bake as dark as you can get it without burning. It's very important to bake house pieces long enough. Cookies don't need as long.

Tips for making gingerbread houses.
1. As soon as you take the pieces out of the oven lay your pattern over each piece and trim with a very sharp knife. This will insure that your pieces go together nicely. If the pieces start to harden before you get them all trimmed put them back into the oven just to warm them enough to trim easily.

2. In the widest frying pan you have, melt about 1 cup or more of sugar at a moderately low temperature until liquid. Dip one joining side into the hot sugar mixture and then quickly match up with other piece to make a corner. Continue to do this with all your pieces. The hot melted sugar makes a wonderful edible glue that hardens quickly and nicely. If you get drips on your pieces, wait until the sugar hardens and you should be able to remove them. This makes it a lot faster and easier to put all the sides and roof together, and it's much sturdier. I hope to make a small video to show you how it's done.
If you have any questions just drop me a line.

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