The Good The Bad and The Ugly! Plus Gingie Cookie Recipe
Last year I shared the recipe and tips for how to make my neighbor Diane’s Famous Gingerbread cookies. The cookies from the photo, above left, are the ones Diane made a few years back for my annual cookie exchange party . This year will be around the 12th exchange, I’ve lost count. Diane brings these incredible cookies every year. Last year I finally asked her what her secrets are to making delicious and picture perfect gingies every time. I wrote a blog post with her recipe and tips last year around this time. Over the weekend I printed it out and gave it a go.
How was your Thanksgiving weekend friends? For my Kurbo stars, I just know you stacked up all your red lights for that big feasting day. I hope you enjoyed every bite! I budgeted 10 reds and used every last one of them last Thursday. We had a really nice Thanksgiving at my in-laws, lots of familiar faces plus many new significant others this year. It was fun making new acquaintances while keeping old traditions. The table setting was beautiful as usual and the food was plentiful and delish. All was going well in the land of thankfulness and warmth. We were ready to get our holiday cheer on.
Then Saturday morning happened. I was at my folks paying them a visit and helping them out a bit. My mom had a couple appointments I was chauffeuring her to and my dad, Baba, was back home playing backgammon. All was running smoothly. That’s when the frantic texts and emails started coming in. Our fridge was on the fritz! The internal motor (or some such thing) was slowly dying and causing damage, expensive damage by the tone of it, to the refrigerator. Bob and the girls unpacked the contents of our entire fridge and transferred it over to spend a few days with a kind neighbor. A few essentials were kept in our handy dandy, so glad we kept it, mini fridge. I love that mini fridge!
So goes the circle of life. When there are ups, there are downs and we have to experience the whole range – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s how the holidays roll for most of us – there’s no perfect. Moments of good, and moments of stress and ugly.
Back home the fridge ordeal continued to be a ‘fun’ challenge. We had my brother and his family visiting from Napa for my folks 55th Emerald wedding anniversary (yes we looked it up, it’s the Emerald year but more importantly, what?? married for 55 years?? amazing). We now had 2 hungry teenagers plus two busy, finicky kindergarteners to keep alive for the remainder of the weekend.
Our grand plans of getting the tree up and decorated this weekend didn’t happen. The house was a huge mess. We started working together. The cool air in the garage became our make shift refrigerator for left overs. My brother brought over a couple extra mattresses. It was like camping!
Seeing our girls with their younger cousins I noticed that being with them brings out the best in them. Giggling, screaming, wrestling on the floor at my folks house where there’s nothing else to do, drawing, making up games, and yes baking. I loved watching Ley an Aves teach Mia and Maddie how to make these gingerbread cookies. I didn’t have all the ingredients so we made due with what we had.
The extended family all went home this afternoon. Tomorrow afternoon our fridge gets fixed but only after it’s sparkling clean from top to bottom. This year the gingies weren’t picture perfect as Diane’s but you now what?…they were the best darned cookies our girls have ever had :))
Lessons learned – when things happen keep rollin’ – plan B is alright!
In last weekends gingies we didn’t have the blackstrap molasses, we subbed in maple syrup. Ran out of butter, we supplemented with coconut oil. Skipped the pro tip to refrigerate the dough before cutting out the shapes because, no fridge. Cut the recipe in half. Used a simple Royal Icing Recipe and filled up Wilton clear plastic bags. Cut a small whole cut in the tips. Piped away. The cookies we made were exactly like Diane’s, perfect ?.
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1½ cups blackstrap molasses
- ⅔ cup cold water
- 7 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- In a large bowl, beat coconut sugar, butter, molasses and water with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon until well blended.
- Combine dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (roll out ¼ to ⅜" thick between 2 sheets of parchment)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Cut with floured gingerbread cutter or other shaped cutter
- Place cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and refrigerate entire cookie sheet for 5 minutes before placing in oven
- Bake 10 minutes or until barely an indentation remains when touched
- Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack
- Cool completely, about 30 minutes before icing