How many of you are like me and running behind with your holiday preparations this year? It won't be long and the reindeer will be flying and the jolly old man in the red suit will be visiting our homes and comparing notes on the cookies and milk left on the hearth for him.
This weekend I made gingerbread men, or as I've been saying, gingerbread boys and girls.
I'm making them for a really special group of first graders as a treat on the last day of their Junior Achievement class.
I've never made gingerbread men before and they are a lot of work, I also will confess that I had a few casualties, but they are so cute and tasty they were worth the trouble and I am sure the kids in the class will love them.
Since I don't have a tried and true recipe for gingerbread, I put out the call to my Facebook friends to see if anyone had one that they would share. Paula, a friend from the town I grew up in, shared her recipe.
This isn't just any recipe, it is her mother's recipe and is a treasure. Growing up her mom and dad lived kitty-corner across the street from us and later they were backdoor neighbors to my mom and dad. I asked Paula if she minded if I shared the recipe on my blog and she said "go for it".
I hope you will try this recipe. It has lots of wonderful memories for their family. Start a new tradition at your house this year. I bet if you make these cookies you will get brownie points from your family and also Santa might just decide the cookies he got at your house are the absolute best!
Janet's Christmas Gingerbread
Yield varies depending on the size of cookie cutters used
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup lard
1 cup sorghum
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and lard together until creamy.
Add the sorghum and mix well.
Mix in the vanilla and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the 5 cups of flour along with the baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cloves and cinnamon until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.
Mix the 1/2 cup buttermilk into the mixture until thoroughly combined.
Divide the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to thoroughly chill.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper. Unwrap one of the disks and place it on the floured parchment. Lightly flower the top of the dough and cover with another sheet of parchment.
Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cutters into desired shapes and move to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes (I went about 9).
Just a tip, like little girls, there are more clothing options and it is much quicker to do all gingerbread boys than it is little gingerbread girls.