When I was younger I couldn’t understand why my mom always insisted on baking for people. Going to a party? bake something. Funeral? bake something. Having company? bake something.
I vividly remember standing in the kitchen, surrounded by flour covered counters and stacks of cook books, protesting the idea of baking. I was in my rebellious/feminist stage and thought it was completely outrageous for a woman to bake. And, I was embarrassed that MY mom was the ONLY mom who brought food or baked goods to every.single.occasion.
She explained that it’s what her mom did, it’s what she does, and she would bet money on the fact that it’s what I would do too. Baking something for someone else is something small you can do to show you care. It doesn’t cost alot but it does take patience and love, something people really appreciate anytime and especially around the holidays when store-bought goodies are a dime-a-dozen.
Well, she was right. As I’ve grown, I’ve found a love for baking and cooking. I feel most comfortable in the kitchen when I’m preparing something to share with others. I have taken my mom’s gingerbread cookie recipe and put my own twist on it, because I can’t just make a cookie with all white flour. I’d like to share it with you and hope you can spread some love this season.
Mom/Abby’s Gingerbread Cookies
(makes ~20 cookies, depending on size)
You will need:
2/3C butter (or earth balance vegan butter)
3/4C dark brown sugar
3C flour (mixture unbleached white/whole wheat pastry flour)
1t baking soda
1. Cream together butter (I used Earth Balance) and sugar until fluffy
3. In the meantime, combine flour, spice, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. I used 1C unbleached white flour and 2C whole wheat pastry flour. If you’re going whole wheat, be sure to buy pastry flour or else just use white. The consistency will be much different if you use regular whole wheat. Trust me.
5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until all are combined. Don’t over-mix!
6. When everything is combined, form the dough into a ball and refrigerate until cold. 30-45 minutes should be adequate.
7. Flour your counter/pastry sheet/kegerator with a mixture of flour/powdered sugar. Roll out dough, around 14 inch thick, and cut into whatever shapes you have. I somehow didn’t have any Christmas cookie cutters so I just made circles. Sorry- lame, I know.
8. Place cookies on try and bake at 375* for 5-8 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out when they start to crack. I like a softer cookie so I took them out early.
9. Cool cookies & make frosting. I detest royal icing so I made a butter cream type.
10. Beat together 1/4C earth balance, 1C powdered sugar, 2t milk, 1t pure vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon. Ice cooled cookies and enjoy!
Obviously these are not the most traditional gingerbread cookies. They aren’t shaped like men and they don’t have fancy, colored outfits on. But, I have a man and I don’t like to eat artificial food coloring. Call me crazy.
The possibilities are endless with these but the one thing you must do is share them with someone you love. And give yourself a sugar coma.