Six weeks to Christmas and I’m making Christmas cookies.
I swear, I’m not as insane as I look.
It just isn’t Christmas to me until I have a batch of my grandmother’s Gingies in the oven. When I was small, we would get boxes of them in the mail, along with beautiful winter oranges, from my great-grandmother. Then, whenever we went to Grandma’s house, she would have a few on hand. We have decorated our Christmas tree with them. And I’ve given them to friends and neighbors since I was in college, without even my own kitchen yet.
These gingies are a lovely, spicy, soft, chewy version of traditional gingerbread cookies. And the best part is, the dough freezes beautifully!
See? I’m not as crazy as you thought I was.
A couple of logs of this dough are going into my freezer now, for easy rolling and cutting later. So simple!
1/3 C shortening
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C molasses
2/3 C cold water
6 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
optional: muscat raisins and/or red hots for decorating
Mix shortening, brown sugar and molasses with an electric mixer until well combined. Stir in cold water. Combine flour, salt and spices in a separate bowl. Add to wet ingredients one cup at a time, mixing well. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or until firm (or freeze in well-wrapped rolls for future use).
Preheat oven to 350. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut. Add decorations, if using. Use a straw to make a hole in the top if using for Christmas tree decorations. Bake for 15 minutes. These will keep in an air-tight container for a week.
A few notes on the recipe:
When you add the water to the sugar, shortening and molasses, it will look curdled. Don’t worry! It will all come together again when you add the flour.
This dough is REALLY thick. I once tried to make these (in college, in the dorm) with just a hand-held electric mixer and burned out the motor. I would say you pretty much need a stand mixer for these—or a really strong arm and several strong-armed helpers!
Check out the other consumable gifts in this series:
No. 1: Pepper-Infused Vodka
No. 2: Jam
No. 3: Pie in a Jar
No. 4: Sugar and Spice
No. 5: Hot Chocolate on a Stick
No. 6: Gingies
No. 7: Granola
No. 8: Preserved Lemons
No. 9: Gingerbread Biscotti
No. 10: Cracker Crack
No. 11: Satsumettes
No. 12: Apricot Nut Bread