Friday, 19 December 2014

Ginger Bread Men

Ginger Bread Men

These ginger bread men don’t mess around.  A heavy dose of ginger fills them with fiery bravado that will have you begging for mercy.  Not for these boys the lacy patterns and funny clothes.  They go commando.

These filled three cookie tins, and took about two hours, including chilling time.

1 cup candied ginger (home made is best)

½ cup butter plus one teaspoon butter
Adapted from, Eileens-spicy-gingerbread men.
1/3 cup molasses
½ cup jaggery (raw Indian sugar), or brown sugar, if you must
1 egg
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger (or more if you use commercial candied ginger)
7 green cardamom pods, husks removed and ground to a powder

1 candy cane, bashed into bits with a mortar and pestle
½ cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon silver balls (optional)

Toss candied ginger into your blender and buzz till ground.  If some slightly larger bits remain, be happy.  Set aside.

Place  all but one teaspoon of butter into mixmaster, and whip till soft.  Add jaggery and whip till well combined, just a few minutes.  Put that last teaspoon of butter into a measuring cup and rub around to coat the cup.  Pour molasses into the cup, then slide that mix into the egg mixture.  Whip to combine.  Add egg and whip to combine that. 

My chilling area.
In a second bowl, combine dry ingredients, along with the ground candied ginger.  Turn off mixmaster, and add one third of the dry mix.  Turn on to 'slow' and mix in, then turn off and add next third.  Slowly mix in, then final third with a final mix. 

Chill dough about 30 minutes (I used the great outdoors for my chilling, and it got cold fast!)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Divide dough into two balls, keeping one chilled.  Roll out to about an eighth of an inch thick.  I like these men crackly and crisp, but you may prefer them more thick and robust.  Cut out shapes.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets, about an inch apart. 

Decorate as you see fit, with candy cane bits, chocolate chips or silver balls.  Don't ask me how or where. 

I did all my little guys in one batch and bigger guys in another batch, because the larger ones require longer baking times.  The little fellows baked in about seven minutes, the big galoots, about ten.  Watch carefully.

Remove from cookie sheets when mostly cool, then place on racks to cool completely.

Beautiful Granddaughter wanted to gussy them up with icing outfits, eyes and smiles, but I felt I’d been in the kitchen too long.  She’d been busy making snow globes with water, Easter egg dye, and glittery stuff.  I poured myself a glass of wine and closed the kitchen for the evening.  It’s not too late to make icing, I suppose.  We’ll see.

A plate of well behaved ginger bread men, fit for public consumption.

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