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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Easy and Delicious Gingerbread Men

What joy it is when you can gather the children around the table to help cut out gingerbread men. Not only do you have the scent of ginger and molasses wafting through the air, but the joy that is Christmas truly shines through. So what if the shapes or icing is haphazard and not perfect. It is the time spent and the joy created that is important.....don't you think?

Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Recipe

  • 1/2 cup(1 stick)butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Decorating Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • Red, green, blue or other colored food coloring

Easy and Delicious Gingerbread Men Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Line two cookie pans with parchment paper or grease with nonstick cooking spray*; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar using an electric mixer until as smooth as possible. Add molasses, milk, vanilla and lemon juice, if using. Continue to beat until everything is well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend all dry ingredients. Add dry to wet and beat an additional minute or two until cookie dough is stiff and well mixed.
  4. On a floured work surface, transfer dough and roll out to about 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour to prevent sticking. Cut out gingerbread men, or desired shapes. Lift shapes off counter onto prepared pans with a spatula, leaving an inch between cookies.
  5. Reknead dough, cutting out more shapes. Continue until all dough is used.
  6. Brush off excess flour with pastry brush, cloth or paper towel.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until evenly puffed and they bounce back in the middle of each cookie when touched.
  8. Remove from oven to cool completely on pans with paper. Peel cookies off parchment and set aside to decorate.
  9. To decorate, simply mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 5 drops desired food coloring and 2 teaspoons water. Repeat with remaining powdered sugar in separate bowls.
  10. Transfer icing to piping bag with round tip or into a very sturdy plastic baggie with a very small corner snipped off.
  11. * Let cool for a couple minutes if using nonstick cooking spray before lifting off onto a rack to cool completely.
  12. NOTE: Want Peanut Butter Gingerbread Men for a change? Simpl omit the molasses and place 1/2 cup peanut butter into a saucepan with milk listed. Over medium heat, stir and heat until smooth and melted. Remove from heat to cool for a few minutes. Beat in butter mixture before adding dry ingredients. The dough will be much softer when done, so you will have to cover and refrigerate until it has stiffened back up, about 30-45 minutes. Continue as directed.
  13. Makes about 30(3 1/2-inch) Gingerbread Men
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