Usually by this week most of us have decided upon what cookies we are preparing for the holidays. And maybe, just maybe some of the wrapping has been completed???? Well I can say this past week I was busy smoking cheese and making summer sausage for some of my Christmas Baskets. I also made a small batch of pear honey and…my first attempt at kumquat preserves. Then there were chocolate chip cookies and a birthday cake for our son, Phillip. How I squeezed all this in my 2 days off I will never know!
Some of my readers are familiar with my gingerbread men story. Every year for Christmas Eve I would make these lovely tasting cookies for Phillip to leave for Santa under the tree. It was around 3rd or 4th grade that Phillip turned to me one day and said: ‘Mom, I think I should tell you that I don’t like those gingerbread men.’ I about fell out of my chair. Here I had made sure that every Christmas Eve I made them just for his Santa tray! If I would have known he wanted chocolate chip it would have been so much easier! All that dough rolling and cutting out when I could have been doing drop cookies, dear me!
The funny part of this is that I love this recipe. The flavors of Christmas are so abundant and it just bursts with holiday spirit. These babies even stood the ‘Uhrig test’ of NO icing. I have to admit I miss making these delicious cookies.
I try to create lots of memories for our son during the holidays and one culinary treat is to make sure we have 1-2 tins of Royal Dansk cookies. It’s so important to create positive memories for our children and grandchildren. Sometimes for myself it’s the simply things that bring back warm toasty feelings: homemade cocoa after a sledding day, eggnog by Anderson/Erickson Dairy, Manor Fruitcakes, Grandma’s cookies with red & green jellies, real fir trees, decorating with fresh cedar, dressing up like elves and Christmas caroling, Christmas Eve night when you couldn’t go to sleep, and me oh my, so so many other treasured holiday memories.
These next two weeks I have lots of elfing yet to accomplish. I ‘try’ to wrap as I go so I don’t have a huge pile up in the days just before when I remember a few last minute items.
I hope you can find time to make these delicious spicy gingerbread men. Enjoy the season my friends and treasure each and every memory making event. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light molasses
1/2 cup cold coffee
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Cream together the butter and sugar, mix in the molasses and coffee. Mix together all dry ingredients and then add to the first molasses mixture, blending well. Refrigerate the dough a couple of hours so it’s easy to handle. I lightly flour my work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/8 – 1/4 inch. Dip your cookie cutters in flour and proceed cutting out holiday cookies. Bake them on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 12 – 15 minutes. Ice with your favorite icing if desired. The recipe should yield close to 4 dozen. When I was making these for Phillip I would often cut the recipe in half and we still had ample.