Sunday, December 14, 2014

Janet's Christmas Gingerbread

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!

I wish I could share a plate of these with Janet and her daughters!

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).  

Remove cookies from the sheet to racks to cool.

When cool, use Royal Icing to decorate.  I made my own but Wilton makes the frosting in tubes that work with the Wilton couplers that would make decorating easier.  You can find these at your local craft store or Walmart.

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.  

....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

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About Me

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.