Gingerbread Folks

Who doesn’t love the spicy peppery flavor of Gingerbread?  From cookies and cakes, to bread and lebkuchen, I’m completely addicted…especially around the holiday season. And nothing accompanies gingerbread better than a glass of cold milk.

Gingerbread Folks, a bungalow tradition

Gingerbread Folks, a bungalow tradition

Gingerbread Folks (politically correct) have been a staple in the bungalow for years. In addition to serving them to friends and consuming many of them myself, I always hang these “folks” on my holiday tree. You’ll see the original hand written recipe, circa 1920, is quite versatile. You can roll it out and use it with your favorite cookie cutters or shape the dough into two logs, wrap them in parchment paper, refrigerate, slice and bake. In no time your home will be filled with their magical scent. I also make a great honey glaze to give them a wonderful shine after baking.

Gingerbread Folks

Yields 20-24 cut cookies or 3-4 dozen sliced refrigerator cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar (and a bit more for rolling out the dough)
2 eggs
1/2 cup dark molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger (4 teaspoons if you dare)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the ground ginger, mix well and set aside.  In another large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Then add the eggs and molasses, mixing well. Incorporate the flour mixture in two steps. Mix well, and split the dough into two equal portions. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for one hour. For the roll-out cookies, cover the surface with granulated sugar to avoid sticking to the rolling pin. Roll out to 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thickness and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

Cookie Glaze: (optional)

Ingredients:
1 cup honey
1 cup water
Juice of one lemon

Method:
Blend all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan on top of the stove. Heat and stir until reduced by 50% and mixture is caramelized and golden amber in color. Using caution, remove from heat and brush on the cookies.

You can also dip the cookies in tempered dark chocolate or tell the younger generation to decorate as they wish!

“Every Family has a recipe and every recipe has a story!”  Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”

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