I realize I haven't blogged in... oh, almost a year and a half. It's not because I haven't wanted to, and it's not because I don't have a ginormous list of blogs I've planned on posting, and it's not because I haven't had a ton of ridiculous experiences and sightings that really, the entire world would be the better for hearing about... it's because I've gotten out of the habit. Oh, and because of this:
Yeah. I stopped 'needing' to tell myself things on a blog, because I just tell him instead :)
BUT-- I really do miss blogging, and sometimes LW would rather I not blather on about things to him, AND he has a bad memory, so my awesome stories certainly aren't going to be recorded by him, mentally or otherwise, so-- I'm starting my NY resolution a bit early and have returned to Doezieland. Yay :). And, I'm home sick, so I have a bit of time. Boo :(.
Oh and also, a bunch of people just asked for this recipe and I figured this was as good a place as any to post it, so here you go--
* * * * *
* * * * *
...this recipe was given to me by Wendy Taylor Bennion, a roommate at BYU way way way back when...
and which I just can't NOT make every year, even though they're time-consuming and I sometimes don't
know if I can ever eat another one. But-- I think, this year (after many), I have finally perfected it!
2 tsp baking soda
(in) 1/2 C HOT water
1 C molasses
1 C shortening
(simmer for five minutes, but NO MORE-- bubbles get lighter, smaller, denser...)
While simmering, Whisk/cream together (in a large bowl):
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
soda mix to sugar mix
Add to that:
3/4 tsp cloves
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger
the molasses/Crisco mix. It will bubble up!
6 C flour
1/4 - 1/2 thick on a floured board. Cut out shapes, place on ungreased sheet. Rolls out best while still warm. I use little 1 1/2 - 2 inch cutters in the shapes of a gingerbread boy, an angel, a tree, and a star. Then when I get bored at the end of re-lumping and rolling out and cutting and pushing from the cutters so many times, I sometimes switch to a 3-inch star or even a five-inch gingerbread MAN... :)
@ 375º just until set (touch gently and barely leaves a dent)
this year, it was 7 minutes to perfection for me, in my old O'Keefe and Merritt oven, and with these small shapes about 1/4 inch thick)
While still warm (as soon as they're set enough to remove from baking sheet), dip in glaze. Set onto a cooling rack with waxed paper laid underneath to catch glaze drips.
The recipe for the glaze was this:
3 C powdered sugar
3/4 C milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
... but, I generally found that to be too thin. Or thick, can't remember. I generally dump some powdered sugar into a bowl, then add a little milk a bit at a time, whisking in throughly with a small French whisk so no lumps or bubbles, until it's a semi-thick glaze. Then I add a little bit of vanilla (which thins it a tad more). If the glaze is too milky, it just seems to 'wet' the Boys so they look soggy and don't really dry. If it's the right consistency, it will mostly hold its shape as it dries into a matte crisp-ish glaze and is super-delicious.
I used to use a dipping fork, dropping them in top-side-down and then turning to coat the bottom, lifting out with the dipping fork and placing on the cooling rack... Though they were coated on all sides this way, it used a TON of glaze, and there were big pools of dripped glaze under the cooling racks, and I'd have to move them from one spot on the rack to another mid-dry so they wouldn't fully stick to the racks, and it was all a big big pain...
THIS year, I decided to not fully dip-- instead, I made sure the glaze was thick but fluid enough to hand-dip just the tops... I would remove the Boys from the baking sheet onto cooling rack or pan, top-side down (so they were ready to pick up), and then--using my fingers only--carefully dipped the tops into the glaze and turned back right-side-up as I set them down on the cooling rack.
The thick glaze would drip a teeny bit down the sides, and the bottoms remained dry, the glaze cooled to the perfect consistency and even with three full cooling racks of Boys, the entire process from beginning to end (including clean-up) was less than two hours. Yeah!
And it made this many:
(this is a half-sheet sized pan)
(by the way--- if you can't eat them all right away and/or are giving them away, another plus of the boys is that they tend to keep soft and fresh for a very long time, in an airtight container!
* * * * *
I made these this year primarily for some friends who nicknamed them "The Boys", with whom I had a tradition with to get together and bake them for the past few years... and who moved away this year, so I had to do it alone :( . But I sure thought of you, and I hope they arrive fresh and delicious!
|(this is not the perfect photo because it's from my inferior older|
iphone, plus their kitchen was under construction-- but sooo fun)
* * * * *
enjoy, and Merry Christmas!