Thanks to Katherine, I had four dozen gingerbread cookies to fill goodie bags for the bake sale today! (Actually, two dozen made it to the sale, the other half stayed home!) Please see Katherine's post here for all the recipe details.
Last night I mixed up the dough, and placed it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Very early this morning I took it out and set the ovens to 350. Working with the dough was very easy - it's a nice, forgiving dough, fragrant with spices and a dark rich brown in color. In fact, Crackerjack and Earlybird were convinced I was making some sort of chocolate confections when they saw me rolling out the dough, but the smell that filled the kitchen told Bookworm all he needed to know. He is a huge gingerbread fan. :)
Since these cookies were for a bake sale, I decided to have some fun. I really liked the effect I achieved with the Autumn Star cookies the other day - placing a small cutout on top of a larger one and baking them together. I only have two sets of mini cutters so far - Harvest and Noah's ark - so I went with the latter. I was baking these for a church toy drive, so I thought the theme was appropriate and cute for the kiddoes, especially.
Here's how they looked going into the oven. (Don't you just love those Silpat sheets?)
And here are a few baked up fresh, served here on a festive plate.
These are sizeable cookies, (thick and soft too), so I packaged three to a bag (I didn't have cellophane on hand, so I used these natural wax paper bags instead). I sealed up the bags with little hand-written labels identifying them as "Noah's Ark German Gingerbread."
Of course I couldn't help myself from going a little "Martha" with this project. The bags fit into this basket nicely (eight in all) and a couple of gingham check ribbons finished off the presentation:
If you're hosting a party for any holiday or event, this would make a nice favor display. You could go with any theme, and choose colors and ribbons to complement it. Next time I do this I will spend a little more time with the labels. These are a bit slapped together - just office supply labels marked with ball-point and adorned with a small star sticker.
Speaking of next time! Beck sent me another wonderful gingerbread recipe today and I can't wait to try it! In fact, I will do so very soon and then post how the cookies came out (along with Beck's recipe which is very different from Katherine's and straight from Martha herself).
Plans for the rest of the day? Well, Bill has the tree up and later he will hang the wreaths and outdoor lights (The boys have been bemoaning the fact that we are the very last ones on the street to "light it up," so to speak, lol.)
And here is what awaits me once I finish this post ...
Coffee, gingerbread and Martha - how better to spend a cold windy weekend at home?
p.s. If you have a favorite gingerbread recipe, please do send it my way (drhanigan AT verizon DOT net). I would love to collect (and hopefully try) as many as I can this holiday season. And if I get a few, I'll put together that gingerbread carnival I mentioned. :)