Nothing says, “Happy Holidays…or else,” quite like Gingerdead Men.

I’ll admit, I have a weird sense of humor. I try to tone it down a bit here, but I have an obsession with sci fi movies. I like vampires and werewolves and aliens. As a kid I read Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. When I saw this cookie cutter/stamp, it spoke to me. So here we are.

When we make gingerbread cookies, we always use my Aunt Anne’s recipe. Of course you don’t need to use the Gingerdead Man cutter/stamp, you can use all those boring cutters like bells and stars and snowflakes. (Which I used, too, because it would be hard explaining to the in-laws why I’m sending them cookies with skeletons. “I eat dead people.” Yeah, easier to send snowflakes.)

Anyway, here’s the recipe for yummy gingerbread cookies that you can make in all kinds of shapes and decorate with your favorite icing.

Aunt Anne’s Gingerbread Men
3/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup shortening (I used butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger (or more…I go a little crazy with the ginger)
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp baking powder

This dough will be really stiff and you may need to help kids mix and roll it out. I creamed the butter and added the molasses, sugar, egg, and spices. Then in a separate bowl I combined the salt, baking powder,and flour, then added this mixture a cup at a time to the butter mixture. By the end it is much easier to work the dough by hand until you can form it into a ball. I refrigerated mine until I was ready to roll it out; it will need a few minutes at room temperature before you can roll it out.

Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness onto wax paper, then cut out desired shapes and transfer to lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheet, leaving at least an inch between cutouts. (At this point you’d use your cookie stamp to make the skeleton imprints on your gingerboys. If you had my supercool cutter/stamp, that is. You can also leave those skeletons in the closet and stick with the snowmen and stars.)

Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes or until cookie edges have browned slightly. Cookies will harden as they cool, and can be decorated with icing of choice. I’ll leave this up to you…as you can see from my photo, we chose a butter frosting that tastes yummy but didn’t make nice smooth bones like the ones on the cutter box. They recommend royal icing, but I didn’t have pasteurized egg whites, so I improvised. I’ll bet your skeletons will look much better than mine. Which sounds bizarre, I realize.

Happy Holidays…or else.