Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Gingerbread Interlude

Our holidays are filled with artsy endeavors! One of my favorites is making and decorating gingerbread cookies for my husband and his family.  The recipe is my husband's, long ago given him by his mother.  When he first introduced them to me, he was a gingerbread purist - he believed that they should have raisins for eyes and buttons, and that's it. 
He should have known that if I was going to make these cookies, that I could not leave them simply with raisin eyes.  He also should have known I wouldn't be happy simply making gingerbread BOYS, as you can see by the tray of gingerbread ladies above.  So nowadays, he just leaves the kitchen and tries not to come back until I'm done decorating.  I don't think he even cares for the the taste of frosting, but to me, gingerbread is nothing if not an art project. 
 And of course, there's the fact that I'm Jewish, and that the first night of Hanukkah is on Christmas Eve this year.  So I made some Chanukah cookies too.  (By the way, you might notice I used two different spellings for Hanukkah.  That's because it is a Hebrew word.  I grew up with the 'Chanukah' spelling, but the 'Hanukkah' spelling is the most popular/accepted right now.) 
 This year, my husband insisted that I always make a double recipe.  I foolishly believed him, and about 10 dozen cookies later, I was seriously overloaded.  To move things along, I made 5 of the giant boys, pictured below, and on the top right of this post.  Usually I only make two of them because they use up so much dough.
I also made a batch of these silly reindeer.
And of course there's the standard size gingerbread boys.
When I had been decorating cookies for many hours, I started getting silly and started putting them in bikinis (such as the one pictured at the top of the post and on the tray above) or underwear (also on the tray above), and also making 'diaper babies' (pictured below) and aliens (below) out of the smaller gingerbread boy cookie cutters.
You may notice a hand on the tray above, too.  My attempt was to put the fingers in the Vulcan salute, that means "Live Long and Prosper".  I also made a number of little houses, and this year I cut out the windows and melted Life Savers and Jolly Ranchers in them to look like colored glass.  It was my first attempt at this, and it worked so well, I started cutting out everything in sight, including a heart out of the chest of the big boy at the top of the post. The photo below is some of the houses.  I neglected to get good pics before they got packed away. 
And I'll close with a few close-ups.  Next year, it's back to baking a single batch of gingerbread, unless I suddenly have a lot of help getting it all done.
 Happy Holidays, everyone!!! 

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