Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Buell Family Gingerbread Marathon

For pretty much as long as I can remember, gingerbread men have been an integral part of the Buell Family Christmas experience. We’ve always had these large, soft, spicy men at our family Christmas Eve bash, each marked with the name of a family member or friend. Once upon a time my Aunts used to take turns making them. There are lots of stories involving rock-hard brown sugar (we broke it up with a hammer), missing ingredients, and Kama Sutra gingerbread man positions. But the last five years or so we have made the cookies a family event, where aunts and cousins all pitch in to make them for family and friends.

Because the quantity has increased so much over the years (from around 30 large cookies to 180-200) we break up the madness into two days. This Sunday was Cookie day #1 of the year, and we cranked out about 160 of these bad boys.

The recipe is kind of a family secret (or I should say an auntie Barbara secret) since none of us really know it in its entirety. I’m pretty sure my aunt strategically splits up the tasks so no one else can be the recipes keeper. SO, I will share with you the general process, but alas, I have no measurements for you….

I arrived a little late to the party. When I walked in, everyone was already very focused on their individual tasks.....

Auntie Sue was melted together the butter, molasses and brown sugar on the stove. (The Buells have a genetic inability top keep our eyes open in pictures).

Jenn mixed up the dry ingredients, then added the egg and molasses mixture.

Jamie rolled out the dough, then cut the cookies and placed them on the baking sheet.

Everyone took turns decorating the raw cookies with M&M's and chocolate chips...
We made 16 batches of gingerbread. Holy Cow. The Christmas Music and egg nog inspired us.
I was assigned to mix in the food coloring for the frosting. we generally use white decorating frosting, red, green, and yellow. We make the "royal icing" from scratch, another recipe I'm not officially privy too.
I stuffed the pastry bags and we were ready to start decorating the baked cookies.

So I went to town....
We split up the decorating so that each of us was in charge of a certain feature. Jenn was on the mouths, I was on the hands and feet, Lauren was on the hair etc....

We had a little fun with the faces. This little guy is buck-toothed.

And this one knows his ultimate fate is death-by-eating.

We took a sandwich break at some point....
And finally, about 7 hours later, we completed cookie day #1 with around 150 finished men.

Cookie day #2 is only about half the gingerbread people. Hopefully we'll have recovered from our cookie-and-frosting hangover by then....

Happy Baking!

1 comment:

  1. woow you made so many gingerbread men! this must have been a fun time though, getting everyone together and decorating them!