Wednesday, December 21, 2011

sweet traditions

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas 
when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.  
~Charles Dickens

One Christmastime tradition in our home
is that each member of the family chooses a Christmas treat for baking in December.

 And every single year, someone chooses
It just wouldn't be Christmas without it!

So yesterday we pulled out the rolling pin,
7 cups of flour,
lots of decorations,
and turned up some Christmas music to set the mood.

When the temperature is already 90 degrees in your kitchen 
before you turn the oven on,  
the atmosphere isn't exactly Christmas-y, 
but the music helped tremendously!
(There's just NO music like the music of Christmas, is there?)

I'm not going to show you the silly cookies these crazy bakers created;
like the ones that involved smashed red hots and silver bullets.
Are these really our children?!?!?

I had to wake Michael from a 2-hour Cold-induced nap to join us.
He wasn't feeling very energetic, so we let him decorate sitting down.
I reasoned that his germs would get burned off in the baking process.
This is one tradition no one wants to miss, even if they're sick!

The smell of baking Gingerbread filled the air,
as pan after pan came out of the oven.
7 cups of flour bakes a lot of cookies.

We wish we could share a little of this Christmas joy with you!
Stop on in, and have a cookie, friends!

For more artistic photos of our gingerbread,
you can check out Elise's latest blog post

 Earthen Vessel's Favorite Gingerbread Recipe:

1 c. packed brown sugar 
1/3 c. shortening
1 ½ c. dark molasses
2/3 c. cold water
7 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350.  Grease cookie sheet lightly.  Roll out about ¼ of the dough ¼ “ thick on floured board.  Cut with floured gingerbread cutter or other favorite cutter.  Decorate, and place about 2” apart on cookie sheet.   

Bake 10-12 minutes or until no indention remains when touched. Cool and enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I had a Cameroonian coworker ask what molasses was, since it's not something you can get over here, but necessary in many holiday recipes. Glad you were able to make them :)

OliveTree said...

What a lovely tradition: everyone choosing one treat to bake! I rarely do gingerbread--am I too lazy for cutting and decorating???--but I love it. Will try your recipe. I made the tollhouse pie you recommended last month and it was a hit! I had to make another one.

Happy holidays.

us5 said...

oh, Deanna! i'm sorry you can't get molasses!! i'm sure you're finding ways to bake up lots of other Christmas goodies, though...knowing you! :)

us5 said...

hope you enjoy this recipe too, Olive Tree! :) i admit, it's become much easier over the years, since our children actually stick around for all the decorating now. it used to be that they'd decorate 2 or 3 pans and be off to play...leaving mom with all the rest to finish! :lol: it's much more fun doing it together!

Judy said...

Could you use butter instead of shortening? I think I would half the recipe if I made these!