A few people have asked me for the recipes I use for the tiny gingerbread men I make. (or "gingermanboys" as Juli calls them). Here is the recipe, from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook that my mom bought me when I got married.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I use margarine)
1/2 cup light molasses (I use cooking molasses, but I have used both fancy, which is lighter in flavour and blackstrap, which is stronger in flavour).
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Measure all ingredients into a large bowl and beat ingredients with a mixer [or spoon] until well mixed [The recipe says to cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, but I never do that].
- On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick [I roll to 1/4 inch thick, approximately]. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut out men. [my mini cookie cutter is about 1.5 inches tall. I got it at Stokes]. Place 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheet [I put mine closer, about 1/4 inch].
- Bake 8 minutes or until browned. Remove cookies to racks to cool. [if you're going to dip yours in frosting, bake them for an extra minute or two because the frosting softens the cookie].
2 cups icing sugar
6 tbsp softened butter or margarine
3-4 tbsp milk or cream
1 1/2 tsp flavouring (for this recipe, I use vanilla)
1/8 tsp salt
- Beat all ingredients until very smooth. Add more milk to thin to the right consistency. If it looks like the milk is separating, add more sugar. For dipping, it should be about the consistency of ketchup.
- Hold your gingerbread cookies face-down under the arms, and dip the front and sides into the icing. Place right-side-up back on the rack to dry. They take a really long time to dry, but after a couple of hours they should be dry enough to put in a container with minimal denting.
Light Popcorn Balls
2 tbs light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbs butter [margarine works too, but DON'T FORGET THE BUTTER!!!]
6 cups popped corn
- Combine corn syrup, sugar, water, salt, and vinegar. Cook without stirring to medium ball stage, then add butter. [I use a candy thermometer, to 245 degrees F]
- Place popped corn in a lightly greased bowl and slowly pour on the hot syrup.
- Mix quickly with forks. Cool slightly, than shape mixture into balls by dropping a spoonful of the mixture into the hands and shaping it lightly.
PS: I want to make one of these! I saw the Nester's white one which is gorgeous, but I just love this French Script Coffee Filter wreath.