Operation Gingerbread

it’s warm outside. Too warm, frankly. Will it *ever* snow? Will it *ever* be Christmas? I know I’ll be sorry I wished this away when the cold comes, but right now… I got a feeling! And that feeling needs GINGERBREAD. Too soon? Don’t care!

OK. Time for action. I don’t want to do something boring and typical… nor something too heavy. So ix-nay on the gingerbread cake or old stand-by cookie recipe, what else has the internet got to offer?

A-ha! Martha Stewart is offering gingerbread blondies! Awesome! That’s the recipe to fulfill the quest!

(A short time later…)

Inner monologue: “good god, MORE sugar?!?”


So I proceed with the molasses, aka the THIRD kind of sugar in this recipe… hm.

Inner monologue: “blondie dough, or spackling? This is a seriously stiff-looking dough. How will it spread?”

Oh. It won’t. Hell *and* damnation. Now what?

OK! Smaller pan, more spreading, bits of white chocolate added—will it work?

No. Ick. Just ick. I didn’t even photograph the end result, it was that bad. It was just painfully, totally, fully sweet, and neither of the two pans I used cooked all the way through, even with additional cooking time. So the painfully, totally, fully sweet (and not so gingerbread-y flavour) was made even worse with a totally crap texture. Back to the drawing board!

I still feel like gingerbread—alas. My failure with the blondies didn’t dampen anything. What else might I do that’s a little different? Maybe something soft and chewy, with a nice strong molasses flavour? Oh yes. Dear Interweb, what can you offer me?

I find myself preferring to use recipes on blogs, since bloggers write about likes, dislikes etc., so it’s not as much of a gamble… and while this isn’t exactly one of those kinds of blogs, I guess it is by a caterer… so maybe “Soft Gingerbread Cookies” will be sound…?

Off we go! But because I’m annoyed that I took the time to photograph blondies that didn’t work on Saturday, I’m just going to rush this through and if the end point is good, well, I’ll snap that.

Inner Monologue: “Smells right… looks right… but will they fulfill the quest?”

Inner Monologue: “Well…it’s… nice…”

I damn these with faint praise, ultimately, because I remained unsatisfied. They weren’t bad by any stretch… but they just tasted sweet—again—not gingery. Yarg. Good thing there are young males with super-charged metabolisms at work, willing to eat my rejects…

Brr. Bloody hell, it’s -34°C with the windchill. I’ve been at work for 14 hours, and now… I’m making cookie dough?!? I call this commitment—tomorrow, Tim’s friend comes to town and the cookies can’t be put off: tomorrow am, there will be baking.

For now, it’s time to abandon the hope of new and original, and revert to the classics. Tried, tested and true is, after all, not a bad thing!

Back to the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, which has been a blessing and a curse over the years—but only a blessing for Gingerbread roll-out cookies.
Why do I love Martha the best? This is the first of my attempts that actually includes real ginger. Funny that *that* would be novel in gingerbread, eh?

The dough comes together so easily, and is not just willing to wait overnight in my fridge, but it *wants* to! The fresh ginger makes my hands smell festive, and though I’m tired, I feel really content. I think it’s a sign: this may be the winner!

It’s 6am. Do I know where my gingerbread cookies are? 😉

They await the roll-out, the cookie-cut, the chill and the bake. No problem! When it’s – 1 million degrees outside, popping a tray out the back door leads to chilled dough in about 3 minutes. Love you, winter! What a sous-chef!

And in honour of the love of winter and gingerbread, I’ll make snowflakes!

And I’ll bake them for 12 minutes at 350°F…

And I’ll burn them at 12 minutes in 350°F! Note to self: watch the next batch more closely…

Success at last…? In honour of Tim’s friend, Jörg, who’s getting “thanks for carrying” cookies, the un-burnt batch is of Ampelmännchen as well as the beloved snowflakes.

I had some, too. And oh, Pagan Goddess of All Things Gingerbread, I make this humble offering to you, and ask you, in the future, ALWAYS to remind me that when I want ginger, I want gingerSNAPS, and I want them with REAL ginger.
And so ends the saga, just 13 days after it began. Gingerbread blondies: FAIL! Soft Gingerbread: MEH! Ginger-snappy Gingerbread: FTW!
Have you ever been consumed by a baking obsession? 🙂