Each year since I can remember my mother has made Gingerbread Men. The recipe she uses is one that has been in the family for years. It also includes a ton of flour, but has no exact measurement for it. You add the flour last and keep adding it until a wooden mixing spoon stands up it in the dough. Needless to say, in the days before the glorious, wonderful Kitchen Aid mixers this required a lot of elbow grease and arm strength.
Once Elise and I were old enough we would volunteer to help make these delectable cookies. Mom would stay in the kitchen until it was time to add the flour. Then she would suddenly remember she needed to wrap some presents, or she needed to “check the mail real quick” and mysteriously disappear until all the flour was added. As quickly as she disappeared she would reappear in time to help us roll out the dough and cookie cutter it.
My favorite part of making Gingerbread Men was decorating them with red hot candies. I guess traditionally those candies are called “Red Imperials” or something like that, but we always called them red hots. We’d each get a little plastic Tupperware cup full of the candies and would meticulously decorate each man with, at the very least, three buttons, two eyes and a nose.
Of course while baking you can’t help but sneak a taste here and there. One year Elise happened to take one too many tastes and Gingerbread was ruined for her for years. I think she had her first bite of Gingerbread again last year or something ridiculous.
Happy Holidays my friends! Have a fantastic time doing whatever it is you’re doing this season!