As I sip my rooibos chai tea and munch on a gingerbread cookie, I’ll just try to ignore the 75* outside, sun flowers blooming and peaches ripening on my fruit trees. It is December, after all, and the season for things that taste and smell of cinnamon and cloves. Right now there is cinnamon banana carrot bread baking in the oven and the Christmas tree is lit. It's as close to cozy as it can get.
Yesterday while it drizzled outside, Kyle and I baked up some absolutely delicious gingerbread cookies. I can’t remember why I decided to make them; I’ve never made gingerbread cookies before. And I don’t even have a gingerbread man cookie cutter. But the idea popped in my head and wouldn’t leave. So, I turned to my trusty friend, Google, and came up with this super easy, fool proof, can’t go wrong recipe. The entire time we were busy whipping these up, Kyle kept saying, “I love baking!” The boy was made to play with me in the kitchen. He loves to snack, he loves to get dirty and he loves cookies. We do all three.
We pulled up a chair and got to work. The only thing I did slightly differently was use blackstrap molasses. I should’ve known to cut it back a bit. After it was all mixed up, I had a taste and it was sure strong. I stirred in some extra sugar, maybe another 1/4 cup, and it helped. Once they were baked and iced, the flavor was perfect! They aren’t awfully sweet, but the royal icing does take the edge off the depth of molasses and ginger.
Since it is spring going into summer (as much as I hate to admit it), my kitchen is warm during the day. So I did feel that the dough was a bit soft for rolling and cutting. I would pop it in the fridge for half an hour to help with that. But, for this go around, we just rolled with lots of flour and on wax paper. I also wished I had sprayed my wax paper with a little non-stick spray because they stuck ever so slightly during baking. Maybe my dough was a tad bit too thin. What do I know about gingerbread? Nothing. Except that it tastes good. And this stuff tasted really good. That's all I care to know.
After they were iced and ready for consumption, I took the container outside so I could offer one to the boys working in my garden. Our neighbors use the yard for planting and send their boys up here for weeding and watering. It's not uncommon for me to test a recipe on those guys. They're quite adventurous kids. The first one, Khotso, tried to take the whole box out of my hand. I've lived long enough to know two teenage boys and a box of cookies would mean I'd be back in the kitchen baking more real soon. The other boy, Tsolo, who speaks English better, laughed at him and gave him such a hard time for trying to grab the whole container. Then two flirty girls walked in the yard, obviously trying to interact with the boys and I was left to offer them a cookie, too. Well, there went half my cookies.... Oh well, we didn't need two dozen anyway.
Next up, my absolute favorite Christmas cookies. I'm already drooling....
'Tis the season for baking!