Saturday, December 12, 2009

Catch Me If You Can!! - Gingerbread Men

Hey there everyone, sorry for the delay. There have been a few problems here up in the Columbia River Gorge. I know I had promised that I would start on the Lebkuchenhaeusle (Gingerbread house) first but my Aunt and Uncle came for a visit, and we all went to dinner, and then was this party see and then there was the freezing rain and black ice.... So I have not been able to get to my nephews' house for this fun filled activity... But it was mainly because of the party that the Gingerbread men arrived first....

FYI -- As I am typing this all I can think about is Gingy, from Shrek, screaming, "Not my gumdrop buttons!!" and, "You're a Monster!!! not to mention, "Looks like were up a chocolate creek without a popsicle stick"

I am a firm believer in womens rights and smashing the glass ceiling, making me an equal opportunity gingerbread 'person' maker, but the cookies were for a party and, wanting to be more traditional, I only made gingerbread dudes this time because time was of the essence and they are quicker to decorate. All the girl cutters are wearing dresses and this calls for artistic license in piping frosting..., Pinafores, long frosted tresses, bows in the hair, ruffles in the dress... and on and on and on... Gingerbread men only need 3 buttons and a smile... LOL

Besides, the story is technically about a gingerbread boy anyway, and I don't know any women that would be stupid enough to trust a fox to ferry them across a river and not expect to be eaten, especially if one was made of gingerbread. After all, if it HAD been a gingerbread girl, she would have had 'women's intuition' baked in, don't ya think?

So here we go....

Gingerbread Dudes
(and/or Women if you have the cutter and the time)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then remove some of the dough from the refrigerator, it matters not how much, for you can always get more from the bowl.

Roll the dough out onto a well floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness and apply your chosen cutter (floured of course) to the dough and press.

With a floured spatula, move the gingerbread persons to a parchment lined sheet pan (I cheated, cause there was not enough parchment, and used an airbake pan which tends to not stick)

Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on whether you have Gas or Electric (8 for electric, about 10 for gas, or at least in my old gas oven)

Let the cookies sit on the pan for 5 minutes to allow them to solidify just a tad, this fosters easier removal and less breakage when transferring to a cooling rack. (And none of them escaped, when I opened the oven)

Let cool completely while making, what I use to call, Butter Icing although I have learned, thanks to BakeSpace, that this is called a "Crusting Butter Cream".

1 cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups Confectioners' Sugar
1 - 4 TB Heavy Cream (to loosen)

Begin by beating the tarnation out of the Butter in a large bowl along with the vanilla and salt until light and fluffy.

Add confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low until well combined.

Add 1 TB Heavy Cream and turn the mixer to high speed, then continue adding Heavy Cream in 1 TB amounts until the icing becomes light, fluffy and soft enough to pipe in a bag.

Place, the above frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a No. 3 writing tip and cover the remaining frosting with plastic wrap on the surface to avoid crusting.

When the cookies are completely cooled, pipe on a "face", being eyes and a smile, and three shirt buttons (although you can add a bow tie if you like). Work with the gingerbread man. If the head is slightly askew... simple make the face angled too. It gives them more personality, then again that may be a bad thing...

And there you have it, super simple, super easy, and super delicious. (I am not big on frosting anyway, so the less the better, allowing the flavor of the cookie to come through)

In all honesty, I prefer to bake gingerbread 1 week before I am going to decorate them. I store them in a plastic container after they cool and let the flavors develop before frosting. But I was in a hurry so....



DutchBakerGirl said...

Love, love, love your gingerbread men. I only own a gingerbread man cutter. Does that make me sexist? LOL I may use it on some of my speculaas dough.

Joanna said...

Hahaha! I agree that no gingerbread girl would ever fall for that fox, unless of course he offered a pawfull of silver nonpareils :)

Unknown said...

LMAO @ "womens intuition baked in". your dudes look so yummy!