Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies (no molasses!)

I dunno about you, but I love gingerbread at this time of year. It's a time honored tradition, a classic that must be honored. Admittedly, when I say 'honored' it should be literally translated as 'bought'. As in, I don't make it; I just eat it. But not this year.*

Ya wanna know what holds me back (aside from general apathy and all around laziness)? It's the lack of molasses. Yup, you heard me. One ingredient. Is it hard to find? Expensive? Short shelf life? No, nope and uhn-uh. I just have no desire to traipse in the snow to the local Wal-marts (the added 's' is in honor of my dear departed Grandma) for the one ingredient I know I won't use again until a full year later. Oh, and that's traipsing in the snow, 5 miles, uphill both ways (this one courtesy of my Dad.)

So, I've officially declared this a molasses-free zone. Unless, some stray friend or loved one happens to accidentally abandon theirs.

Anyhoo, I finally did it. I hunted down a recipe that's gingerbread with no obvious use of molasses (I say obvious cuz it does call for brown sugar which is widely known to contain, yep you know it, molasses.)- and by obvious, I mean 'mentioned as an ingredient by name'. So, this is a shout out and a rescue mission to all those, molasses-impaired peeps.

1 small (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup butter (softened is always the recommendation unless otherwise noted)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (we used dark brown)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream together dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. For glittery goodness, sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake for 10-12 min(large cookies), 5-8 min (small) in preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.

Don't get overexcited tho folks, this makes a family-sized portion only (read: small-ish). You may want to double it if you intend to share. Me, not so much.

* Full confession? Maybe still this year since technically I may not have made them, yet again. Technically, maybe Gigs mixed, rolled and baked. But, perhaps I can take credit since I did rescue them from the oven. O, and I did eat of them and love them.