We Looked Like Giants

You know when you see a beautiful gingerbread house crowned with royal icing and studded with a Nonpareil roof and gum-drop windows?  Some people admire that craftiness for weeks in their homes.  Not I: I break that thing into bits and eat the gingerbread.  Half the fun of constructing such a building is tearing it down and enjoying your efforts.  After all, what’s more fun than breaking something into a million pieces?  And is there really anything better than eating cookies?  I can’t name very many things…

The theme of this year’s holiday festivities: decorating cookies.

Who ever knew that Christmas sprinkles would be so difficult to find around the holidays!  Well, I didn’t, so I had to get a little creative with my decorations.  These guys ended up being suited up with a multitude of different items ranging from the somewhat “normal”, such as sprinkles, candy canes, Hersey’s Kisses, and licorice, to the “not-so-normal”, as in Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, sliced almonds, pecan halves, Sweet Tarts, and peppermint bark popcorn.  They were some devilishly handsome gingerbread men, I must say.

I’d date them…if I was a gingerbread girl. But I’m not. So I won’t.

They were preeeeetty tasty too, if I do say so myself.  Even before baking, while rolling out the dough, the ginger tickles your nose in the greatest way.  With warm, pronounced spices; so soft straight out of the oven and crispy crunchy after cooling.  The perfect blank slate for coloring and creativity.

Good thing I don’t have any problem eating such pretty things.  Nothing is “too beautiful to eat”.  It was made to eat, otherwise it would have been made out of wood and nails.  Aduh.

So make them cute as you can.  And then eat ‘em up.

Giant gingerbread men
(adapted from Post Punk Kitchen)
yielded 6 giant men

On one of our kitchen gadget crusades, Gram picked up this giant gingerbread man cookie cutter.  He’s about 8-inches long and 4-inches wide.  I have been waiting for Christmas to roll around to inaugurate him.  And I have come to a conclusion: I love him.  The baking time will differ for more average-sized cookies, so you may need to stand by the oven to keep an eye on them.

Wet: 1/3 c coconut oil
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c milk

Dry: 2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t  ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t ground ginger

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar for about 3 minutes, until sugar and oil are “creamed”.  Add remaining wet ingredients, whisking to incorporate (it will stay somewhat unmixed, but don’t worry).  Mix together the dry ingredients and add half to the wet mixture, stirring to combine.  Mix in the rest of the flour mixture until a stiff dough has formed.  Cover in plastic wrap and pull the dough together into a slightly flattened ball and chill for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Flour your work surface, hands, and rolling pin and roll dough out until it is 1/4-inch thick.  Cut dough with cookie cutters and lay on lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-14 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges.  Cooking time will also depend on the size of your cutters. (Mine took upwards of 14 but it was a 6-inch cookie cutter.) Remove to wire rack and let cool completely before frosting and decorating.

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