Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year: Gingerbread Men

Wow, Christmas is pretty much here and so is the end of the year, and what a great year it has been too. As this is going to be my last posting for the year I wanted to spend some time talking about this year and about the next as we start onto new adventures.

This year brought on some of the biggest personal changes to my life, a move to a new country and the birth of my first child. Today is also extra special as it is my third year wedding anniversary with my best friend and partner in crime. I really couldn’t ask for a better year, and yet I am looking forward to the new and very different year ahead. One of the new challenges that I am looking forward to I will be able to share right here, weaning my daughter onto solid food. I am going to be doing baby led weaning and so I am going to be looking for and sharing recipes geared towards babies but that are also something great for parents, because for me there is nothing more stressful then having to cook two separate meals when my day is already full!

It will be a fun and at times frustrating challenge but I am determined to be creative with her foods so that it is full of flavor without relying on things like salt that aren’t good for her digestion. I am also looking to prepare her a wide variety of foods to try to help her develop a love for food that is healthy and open to trying new things. Not only is this going to be great for Morgan but also it is going to be so much better for our budget. I mean, seriously, have you seen the price they want to charge for baby food? I think it is sad that they play on a parents desire to provide what is best for their children by claiming that their food is better for your baby. A jar of sweet potato baby food is no better for your baby then a mashed up sweet potato, and in the long run you can get more for your money by buying it fresh and making it yourself. My challenge in the new year is to incorporate recipes that you can feel safe giving your little one and that you and the rest of your family can enjoy so you can say goodbye to fussing around with separate meals for everyone.

But back to this year; I just want to thank everyone for enjoying this food journey with me and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, an even better New Year and I will see you next year with more delicious recipes.


Gingerbread Men

Ingredients
390 grams (3 c.) plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice
113 grams (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, room temperature
100 grams (1/2 c.) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
160 ml (2/3 c.) unsulphured molasses*
*If molasses isn’t easy to find use half black treacle and half corn syrup or thick sugar water

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.

In a separate mixing bowl blend the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. To prevent molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, dab a small amount of oil to the measuring cup.

Add the butter mixture to the middle of the flour and slowly mix together.

Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least two hours or even overnight).

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F) and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies.

Lift the cookies onto the baking sheet, placing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.

Bake for about 8 – 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. They are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, you can press raisins, currants, or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, confectioners frosting can be used to decorate the cookies. Store in an airtight container.

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2 Responses to Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year: Gingerbread Men

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