for the fun of it!
By Southfacin’ Cook Patsy Brumfield
Years ago, my mother got a yen for English afternoon tea and was given a cookbook with recipes for scones, gingerbread, biscuits etc., which you’d expect to serve for such an occasion.
Recently, my sister gave me an adorable cookie cutter in the shape of a tiny man – perfect for classic gingerbread. So, that’s what I did in anticipation that my grandson, James, would love them. Of course, he will have no idea what they are but he’ll surely like the taste.
Here’s how it goes, from “The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea” by Angela Hynes. Inside its cover, the book gets more nostalgic with Christmas 1990 childhood signatures from my kids to my mother.
If you don’t fancy GB men, find cute seasonable cookie cutters and make some fun anyway!
Equipment: Mixing bowl, small saucepan, 2 large baking sheets, rubber spatula, metal spatula, rolling pin, measuring equipment, plastic wrap, cookie cutters, wire cooling racks.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground gingerbread
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup molasses
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon milk
LET’S GET STARTED!
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a medium-size bowl; set aside.
In a small saucepan, whisk together molasses, sugar, shortening and milk. Bring to a boil and remove immediately from heat.
Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, then pour in molasses mixture. Stir into a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate an hour.
Preheat oven to 375. Grease baking sheets; set aside. Turn out dough and cut in half. Place half onto a very lightly floured surface. With a floured rolling pin (I use a glass), roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Cut out cookies and place on baking sheet.
Bake 8-12 minutes or until cookies are deep brown. Move to cooling racks. Makes about 15 standard gingerbread men or a couple of dozen smaller cookies. (My tiny cutter made about 60 men!)
NOTE: If you want to ice them with faces and buttons, use the icing recipe on the packaging for powdered sugar. Or mix powdered sugar and condensed milk to an icing consistency. I used a toothpick to “paint” eyes, smiles and buttons on the gingerbread men. Kind of tedious, but the result was good enough for kids.
Photos by Patsy Brumfield except header photo, which is licensed under CC By 4.0 — linked to supervalu.ie