The making and baking of things Christmas-y.
Namely in the form of little men & odd shapes.
We often get the compliment (and yes, I'll toot my own horn here) of "wow, that's really great gingerbread". So now loyal, faithful friends, readers, and stalkers, I will let you in on two of my few little secrets.
First off, Mrs Fields and I are buds. Good buds. Especially this time of year. I'm not much into following recipes (baking or cooking), and we have but one or two cookie recipes we put on rotate around here. But at this time of year, her's is kick-butt, hands down, a great one for this.
Second, it's all in the ginger. I mean real, fresh (okay I grabbed mine from the freezer) grate-it-yourself ginger. Yes, freezing ginger root keeps it fresh, crisp and ready to use at any time. I believe mine's been in there for several weeks. Doesn't pick up any funky smells....uh, not that my freezer breeds funky smells. Doesn't shrivel up like your small child's hand after a long bath. Doesn't need to be wrapped up. And man that stuff is easy to grate when it's as hard as a rock. Yes! Skin on. Don't, please, don't ever take off the skin. Trust me on that one.
And for the love people - under bake. Always, always slightly under bake the gingerbread.
Okay, and one more thing: dump the cinnamon in. Measuring is simply a waste of time. You can never have enough cinnamon. You wouldn't believe me if I told how big my cinnamon container is. Trust me on that one, too.
Yeah, this is before any sugar.
In our house we find the use of the tongue many-fold. In this instance, it enables much accuracy when placing the cutter.
And yes, our gingerbread comes in the form of men, musical notes, trees...
...small stars, mini candy canes, tiny dog bones, hearts, bells and multiple other random shapes.
We made much. It was fun. It's all gone. (We had guests!) And we're all stoked to do it again.
But my little secret is the anticipation of gingerbread houses - now that's gonna be a great day.
How are you getting in the spirit of this season?