Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Art of Making Gingerbread Men

My best memory of kindergarten was making gingerbread men with my class and Miss Ann. Today it still reigns as a highlight for children in kindergarten.  My daughter's class had such a good time making one large gingerbread man and decorating it with all sorts of candies, cereals and raisins. (The cooks baked them in the kitchen)

 Cookie making was followed  up by the gingerbread story, a poem and other related activities. 
This cute cookie cutter gift began my start back to gingerbread making.
Gingerbread Cookie Making 1o1
Cook's notes: Dough needs to be chilled either several hours in refrigerator or one hour in freezer. Use only one of the dough wax paper packets from the refrigerator at a time. It worked best for me to roll out one gingerbread man at a time. For easier handling make sure to flour the spatula for easier transfer of the dough to the cookie sheet.  

This recipe made 10 for me. It depends on how thin you roll the dough. For my first effort I wanted the dough a little thicker so I didn't lose any body parts in the transfer to the cookie sheet :) 
If you decide to use a prepared mix I would suggest using Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix. This is the mix the class used to make a large one on a cookie sheet     
Gingerbread Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 2-1/2 cups of flour divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (mild flavor)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp.baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • M &M's, raisins and tube white prepared frosting (will need a tip for tube to ice arms legs and mouth) 
Directions:
Cook at 375 
  • Beat butter till fluffy and add in 1-1/4 cups flour and next 8 ingredients 
  • Beat till combined and stir in rest of flour
  • Divide dough in half
  • Wrap each half dough in wax paper and place in freezer for an hour
  • Remove one packet and roll out one large handful (equivalent one gingerbread man) on a wax paper floured surface 
  • Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes
  • Decorate

Of course a gingerbread man needs a poem to be complete
 Once there was a gingerbread man,
Baking in a gingerbread pan.
Raisin eyes and a cherry nose,
Trimmed right down to his fingers and toes.
A gingerbread man in a gingerbread pan!
Here's the old woman who made him so sweet,
A treat for her and her husband to eat,
She made him with flour and sugar and eggs,
She gave him a face and two arms and two legs.
A gingerbread man in a gingerbread pan!
Now open the oven to see if he's done,
This gingerbread man, he know how to run.
Out of the oven and onto the floor,
Now run away out the kitchen door.
The gingerbread man, he's out of the pan!

Now chase him old woman, now chase him old man
Chase him, yes chase him as fast as you can!
Through the garden and out the gate,
Catch him right now, before it's too late.
The gingerbread man, he's out of the pan!

Along came a cow who wanted a treat
And the gingerbread man, he looked good to eat
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!

Along came a horse who wanted a snack
But the gingerbread man, he never looked back
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan! 
Along came a farmer who wanted a treat
And the gingerbread man, he looked good to eat
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan! 
Along came a dog who wanted a snack
But the gingerbread man, he never looked back
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a hog who wanted a treat
And the gingerbread man, he looked good to eat
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a fox who wanted a treat,
And this gingerbread man, he looked good to eat.
Jump on my back, my gingerbread pet,
And we'll cross the river, so you won't get wet
Mr. Gingerbread man, who's out of the pan!

There was no place to go, there was no place to run
And a ride on the river could be lots of fun!
So off with the fox did Gingerbread go
And what happened next, you already know
To the gingerbread man, who's out of the pan

That sly old fox had a de-lic-ious treat
And the old man and woman had nothing to eat
Not a bite was left for the cow or the dog,
The horse or the farmer or hungry old hog
There's no gingerbread man in or out of the pan!

So let us go home and get out the pan
And we'll make ourselves a new gingerbread man!
And when he is eaten, we'll make us some more
But this time we'll be certain to lock the back door!
A new gingerbread man, in a gingerbread pan!


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