Mid-winter Christmas Party – plus recipes

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Well Christmas has been and gone….. so we decided to do it again. This time in the middle of our winter. Some Christmas fare just tastes better when its cold. Its also so much more fun to have the decorations out twice a year rather than once!

Great times were had by many (i hope… at least they said so). I grew worried that there was so much food not being touched when people first started to arrive. But there came a moment the hunger must have started because all of a sudden the food was gone and we were being showered with praises over the gingerbread men!

I had fears we made too much gingerbread men and we would end up eating them all week and growing little bellies as a result. But alas there was none left at the end of the evening. They make great party food. There was almost a society formed to teach the most humane way to eat them and shocked glances and were seen as a person ate the little men from the feet up, rather than head down (apparently its a quicker less painful death from the head down).

Today you will get the gingerbread men recipe. I will post the Christmas mince pies and egg nog later in the week.

Gingerbread Men
(from joy of baking recipe)

3 cups of Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
113g Unsalted Butter at room temp (we still use salted if thats all we have)
1/2 cup White Sugar
1 Large Egg
2/3 Cups of Molasses (we used Red Seal Blackstrap Molasses this time)

First sift and mix the dry ingredients together. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, add egg and molasses until well combined. Then slowly add the dry mixture. Divide the dough into two and wrap each with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours minimum. (This time we made our dough 3 days in advance and just kept refrigerated until we were ready to roll out and bake.)

When ready to roll out, lightly flour a surface and roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick. Use a ginger bread cutter to cut out the cookies, using a spatula transfer from bench to a tray covered in baking paper.

Bake for around 8-12 minutes (they seems to cook really quick – so be vigilant!) Leave on tray for a short amount of time then once holding together well enough transfer to a cooling rack until they are room temperature.

I am no decorating wizz yet, but I did find the frosting from the original recipe too soft. Mine was not right either, would not stick to the little man as I was piping it. You can press decorations into the men when they are hot. But wait for them to cool completely before icing.

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