Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We took a stroll through the Osborne Family Christmas light spectacle at Disney World to help get us in the mood for the holidays. Since 1995 this stunning exhibition of lights has brought holiday cheer to the theme park, and we had not seen it until last night. Mostly we avoided the theme parks during the holidays due to the crowds but since our Christmas decorations are still in storage (as we wait to move into our newly renovated condo) we wanted the see for ourselves if it was a “stunning spectacle”… and it was! The advertisements suggest you “grab a cup of gingerbread flavored hot cocoa and get set to embrace this one-of-a-kind experience” and its last hurrah. My suggestion is to drink the cocoa before you come near the flood of people, taking photos and looking up. I don’t have a recipe for gingerbread cocoa yet but have included my traditional Gingerbreadmen recipe below.
I have been baking these cookies since I was in High School and still look forward to giving them as gifts every year.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cloves
Piping, if desired: 2 cups confectioners’ sugar combined with 1 tablespoon light cream; food coloring.
Heat oven to 300* F.
Combine butter and sugar; beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in molasses and egg.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Gradually stir into molasses mixture to make a stiff dough.
Form dough into four disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight. Working with one disk at a time, keeping the rest chilled, remove plastic wrap and place dough on floured surface.
Using lightly floured rolling pin roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut with gingerbreadman cookie cutter.
Place one inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm when touched.
Cool on wire racks.
Decorate with colored piping if desired.