Monday, December 5, 2011
Baking a Batch of Gingerbread Friends
The older children were visiting a great aunt, on the east side of the state, when we had our first snow of the fall, and made our gingerbread men.
With the snow returning this weekend, the older girls decided it was the first snow for them, and they should their own gingerbread men. I thought they might feel that way, and had Jan Brett's Gingerbread Friends standing by in our Christmas Countdown.
The story, which is a sequel to Brett's Gingerbread Baby, finds the cookie feeling lonely, and on the lookout for friends. While he is out, unsuccessfully, searching the local cookie shops, and bakeries, Mattie, the little boy who designs the Gingerbread Baby a beautiful house in the first story, goes to work, mixing up an oven full of friends for him.
Mattie's actions, and the recipe he uses, can be followed in the sidebar illustrations on the story pages. There is a similar gingerbread recipe, on the author's website. She has upped the ginger from 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon, and added a teaspoon of vanilla, and a few additional mixing instructions, but other than that it's the same.
The girls stayed with the quantities listed in the book, and mixed everything together in the same order as Mattie, as they read the story.
The dough is soft, and makes for soft cookies, but even cut thick, it didn't really spread, which was nice for gingerbread men.
They made about a dozen gingerbread friends, which they allowed to cool, and then decorated with a butter cream frosting, piped from a Ziploc type baggie, with a corner snipped out.
The rest of the dough they rolled into 1 inch balls, coated in sugar, and patted down, to make a dozen or so ginger "snaps", as well.
They are quite good. I think I will use this recipe again, for company this weekend, and include a few on the goodie plates for our neighbors.
It's great to be a homeschooler.