The sadness and grief that hit Newtown, Connecticut last week and violently rippled across the nation is devastating. To lose children, teachers and people who cared deeply about the well being of their students is beyond comprehension. It is difficult to know how to reach out to help. What words are there to comfort broken hearts at this time? Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone in your grief, that there are others– complete strangers– who wish to offer condolences and support. While I know a simple blog post can’t provide relief to families who grieve the tremendous loss of loved ones, I do hope that knowing that the community from near and far cares and wants to show support is a small gesture with far-reaching effects. It is in that spirit that I share this recipe for gingerbread cookies today.
Gingerbread cookies are a sign of Christmas celebration. Their shape allows a cookie to come to life in the imagination of children. Make these cookies with your families and remember those in Newtown. Find joy in the simple act of baking and decorating and sharing time with your own children and grandchildren. Let the icing overflow, the sprinkles decorate the table and the rug, and the smiles of sweet children enjoying the season bring a moment of happiness to your home!
I found this recipe is most easily made with a standing mixer. I tried an hand-held, electric mixer that wasn’t up to the task, a wooden spoon that nearly snapped in two, and finally the standing mixer which saved the day!
First cream the butter, brown sugar, butterscotch pudding mix and egg together.
Separately combine the flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon (dry ingredients). One Tablespoon of ginger might look like a lot but the flavor is not overwhelming. These are delicious cookies.
Now add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in a few stages, allowing the ingredients to blend well each time.
Refrigerate the dough wrapped in plastic wrap for at least an hour. This step makes all the difference between sticky, unmanageable dough, and the supple, friendly dough that results after the refrigeration time. Don’t skip this step!
Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters and re-roll the dough as needed. Line cookie sheets with parchment or baking spray.
Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 3-4 minutes then move to a wire cooling rack. Decorate if you wish with royal icing or frosting.
If you’d like to give the joy of baking as a gift this Christmas season, click through to this recent post for the Gingerbread Cookie Mix Gift in a Jar.