Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Cookie of the Week - Gingerbread Boys

I bought my Betty Crocker cookbook in 1980. It is the 1974 edition and showing its age. Not only are some of the ingredients outmoded, the names of some of the recipes are definitely non-PC. For instance, the recipe for gingerbread cookies is called "Gingerbread Boys".

Comparing this recipe to the one I made last year, really shows up its age. Shortening instead of butter, no egg versus 1 egg, ¾ teaspoon of salt (yikes!) compared to ¼ teaspoon, ungreased baking sheet versus greased baking sheet. Betty’s version was also more difficult to roll out. The dough is very sticky.

The cookies came out perfectly. When all was said and done, I have to admit that Betty won the taste test hands down. This is the way to make gingerbread boys (and girls).

Verdict: Yum!! This one’s a keeper!!

Gingerbread Boys
(Source: Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1974 ed.)

½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup dark molasses
¼ cup water
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour*
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Candied cherries or red gumdrops
String licorice
Decorators’ Icing

Cream shortening and sugar. Blend in molasses, water, flour, salt, soda, ginger, nutmeg and all-spice. Cover; chill 2 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375°. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Cut with gingerbread boy cutter; place on ungreased baking sheet.

Press raisins into dough for eyes, nose and buttons. Use bits of candied cherries and strips of citron and string licorice for other trims. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet. Cool. Trim with Decorators’ Icing.

About fifteen 4-inch cookies.

*If using self-rising flour, omit salt and soda. If using quick-mixing flour, add 3 tablespoons milk.

Note: For crisper cookies, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Bake 8 minutes. About 2 dozen cookies.

Recycle: molasses bottle

1 comment:

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Betty Crocker is my all time favorite. No matter if the book get old, it’s still giving you tempting flavors and recipes. Happy baking.