Let’s See If We Can Make 2 1/2 Dozen Of These Delicious Christmas Cookies — And Decorate Them, Too

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup margarine

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth. Cover and chill for at least one hour.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven until firm. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Frost and/or decorate when cool.

Christmas Gingerbread Men

Where and when did these little guys become a Christmas Tradition?

It was none other than Queen Elizabeth I who instructed her pastry chefs to prepare Gingerbread Men to represent foreign dignitaries and people at court who were attending her eloquent and lavish banquet. Of course news spread and those outside the royal palace made these little guys for their family and guests.

But there’s more!! Gingerbread men were used in folk medicine, practiced by witches and wizards . . . They were baked for young women so they could make future spouses fall in love with them. It was believed that if a man ate a particular gingerbread man that was prepared especially for him, he would fall madly in love. 

There’s another tale, an elderly couple, desired to have a child. To console themselves, the couple prepared a human-like cookie, after baked, came to life, escaped from the oven, taking refuge in a neighboring farm. This tale has been handed down by word of mouth with variations . . . However, there was no happy ending. The cookie was eaten by a fox.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the recipe and the historical look into the origins of the Gingerbread Men. Thanks for stopping by!

Sharon