Monday, December 6, 2010

You Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

My mom is Jewish and my dad is Catholic, so I was techincally raised Jewish, but I've always celebrated both Christmas and Hanukkah...or, as Seth Cohen from The O.C. fondly calls it, Chrismukkah ("the greatest super holiday known to mankind, drawing on the best that Christianity and Judaism have to offer, eight days of presents followed by one day of many presents"). This year has been no different, even though it's in a new home with new people to share the miracle of Chrismukkah with.

So yesterday was the first annual Chrismukkah Cookie Baking Fiesta at the Kocher/DiLiberto/Minnaugh household. This year, that entailed baking three types of cookies (well four if you count two flavors of biscotti), partially decorating our tree, and brewing 2.5 gallons of tea for our next round of homemade kombucha.

I'll post all of the recipes for this year's Chrismukkah cookies, but my far-and-away favorite were the Gingerbread Men (and gingerbread snowmen, and gingerbread Christmas trees). I am really happy with how they turned out, especially because I used my garam masala instead of the recommended ground cloves (whoops, didn't have any!) Also, the inclusions of ground white pepper is a nice touch! I used blackstrap molasses, which made for some very very dark cookies...but they are just as delicious as ever.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies
adapted from Eat, Live, Run
makes about 4 dozen large man-shaped cookies

3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 T ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground garam masala
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
2/3 cup demara sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 egg, slightly beaten

directions:Preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the brown sugar, molasses, ground cloves, white pepper, cinnamon and ginger in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil on the stove for about three minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take pot off the stove and add the baking soda (this is the exciting part!!!). Stir well.
Add the butter, adding only a few chunks at a time and stirring well so each addition melts before the next. Add the egg and stir.
Finally, add the flour and salt. The dough will be very soft and still warm, but roll out on a floured covered surface. Cut with cookie cutters or use a large glass to make regular shaped cookies.

Bake for twelve minutes.

Happy Chrismukkah!


  1. Hi! I saw you also made the cookies from Jenna's blog. Did yours come out like a crispy or a soft gingerbread? Mine seem to be more like gingersnaps - but I love the flavor! Trying to decide if icing them would soften them up a bit...

  2. VL,

    Mine turned out very crispy also, I think baking them for a shorter time would help that though. I'm thinking 8 minutes, even if they don't seem done when you take them out they'll probably end up softer. Let me know if you try that or anything else to get them a bit softer!

  3. I agree - mine were soft at first and then crisped up! Tempted to try them again!


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