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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Gingerbread Man Cookies

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Ginger, a spice grown in southeast Asia, has long been a popular seasoning for food. Ginger was a common spice in the ancient Roman world but its use in Europe declined after the fall of Rome. Marco Polo is generally credited with re-introducing it to Europe where it again became popular during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Numerous breads were seasoned with ginger and in many countries, including England and Germany, it became fashionable to bake gingerbread cookies in different shapes or figures of saints for various holidays. Gingerbread and gingerbread cookies, especially the gingerbread man, were brought to America by the English and Germans. Literally thousands of of gingerbread man cookie recipes have been created in America alone over the past couple of centuries.

Gingerbread man cookie cutters can usually be found in most department and other stores or on-line. has links to a number sites selling gingerbread man and other cookie cutters.

Making gingerbread men and other Christmas cookies is always a fun activity to do with young children – and the results can be deliciously enjoyed by young and old alike.

Below are two recipes for gingerbread men cookies. Feel free to try them, experiment by varying the ingredients or click here for one of many sites containing numerous gingerbread man and other recipes.

Gingerbread Man Cookies 1:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees


1 cup brown sugar (can substitute regular sugar)
1 cup shortening
1 egg
5 cups flour
1-2 teaspoons of ginger (depending upon taste)
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon (depending upon taste)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
1 cup molasses

Cream molasses, sugar and shortening together.
Add egg; beat in a little.
Combine ginger, cinnamon, salt and 1 cup of the flour.
Mix soda and hot water and add alternately with dry mixture.
Then add the rest of the flour or enough to roll and cut with a gingerbread man cutter.

Decorate each cookie as desired with raisins and candies (baking candies, M & M's – your choice).

Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven about 7 minutes or until done with the touch of a finger.

Gingerbread Man Cookies 2:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.


2/3 cup shortening
1/2 c brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
3/4 cup molasses
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream together the shortening, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger and salt.
Add egg and mix.
Add molasses and mix again.
Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Sift and add to the creamed mixture. and stir until well blended. Chill for 1 hour.
Roll out dough 1/4 at a time to 1/8" thickness or slightly thicker on a lightly floured board
Cut with a cookie cutter and transfer to a greased (or non stick) cookie sheet
Repeat with remaining dough.

Before baking, decorate with raisins and/or candies as you like.

Place in oven for 8 - 10 minutes

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