the scent of nostalgia – homemade gingerbread cookies
I won’t win any awards for decorating cookies, I know!
Never mind, this gingerbread is FANTASTIC. Really easy, very gingery, not too sweet. Just perfect. An ancient recipe. Pretty much no-fail. Even if you over bake it – it still tastes fantastic. It’s good under-baked too – nice and soft. (Good for all those times you forget to set the timer!) The page in my recipe collection is covered in streaks and comments – and little blobs of dough. The page actually smells like gingerbread. And that smell makes me feel all nostalgic.
For years, I decorated these cookies with my daughters and that lifted my game. A lot. They are both extremely artistic and so, before they went off to university, decorating cookies was a competitive, contact sport in our household. Same with origami.
However, it’s not really Christmas until there’s too much baking in the house and although I admire edible art – I also have a practical side and a time limit. And since I’m doing it by myself these days, I put on the tea, and the Handel’s Messiah or the Carpenters’ Christmas CD (yes, the Carpenters) and I sing along badly and decorate the cookies, alone, steeped in happy memories.
Gingerbread Biscuits (adapted from one of grandma M’s old recipes)
1 cup butter or margarine (I used margarine because dairy-free daughter will be home soon)
I cup sugar
1 cup fancy molasses
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp of ground (powdered) ginger
In a large bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the molasses and egg. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Cover and chill for an hour or so.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. Should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes and bake on a lightly greased cookie sheets at 325 for about 10-12 minutes.
Makes about 60 cookies, depending obviously, on the size of your cookie cutters.
I used icing sugar mixed with almond milk. I just pour icing sugar into a bowl (a couple of cups) and add almond milk by the teaspoon until it seems about right.