Y’all, I may have a problem. I can’t stop making gingerbread cookies.
I blame Christmastime. I mean, really, who doesn’t want their house smelling like cinnamon and freshly baked cookies? This should be a year-round thing.
I also blame my children. Early in the morning, when we’re all still pajama’d and snuggly, they like to crawl into my bed, slip under the blankets, and watch So Yummy YouTube videos on my phone. Well, I’d much rather watch people make mouth-watering desserts than any number of annoying kid videos, so I’m usually pretty easy to persuade.
The other morning, we stumbled across this Christmasy video. At 6:07, they make gingerbread cookie boxes and fill them with M&Ms. Aren’t they precious? I thought, “Hey! I love making gingerbread cookies! I’m going to spend a few hours of my never-ending free time to pull these together.” (There’s a touch of sarcasm in there.)
Therefore, I pulled the ginger, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg back off the spice rack and got to work.
Apparently, I have a strong desire to fatten up scientists by feeding them treats. Calories are my contribution to scientific research. And, yes, I insist on being included in scientific journal articles due to my hours of effort. Then again, if you can tell from the handsome biologist I married, I’m losing the battle to fatten up scientists, as he can still wear his high school prom suit. True story.
So, once again, I will tout the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe of Gimme Some Oven. Just set that butter out early, let it soften, and get to mixin’. I also like this recipe because I can make the dough hours/days ahead, let it chill in the fridge, then get to it when I get to it. And it makes my hands smell like Christmas.
Once you decide you want to be covered in flour, roll out that dough, cut out equal numbers of squares and square frames (big squares with smaller squares cut into them…watch the video if this makes zero sense), and get to baking. I make fairly thick cookies, so 10 minutes at 350-degrees is the perfect bake time in my kitchen.
Then whip up some royal icing. This recipe has served me well. Pipe it on (you could also use a Ziplock bag with the corner cut), and assemble the little boxes. Decorate lid. Fill with candy. Give to scientist husband to schlep to science lab. Feed scientists.
I also love giving gifts that go away. Like, if I give you a book, yes, I’d prefer you read it, but then don’t feel like that novel has to grace your shelf forever. If I give you food, please, for the love of all things hygienic, don’t keep it forever. Make it go away. Less clutter!
What are your go-to food gifts? I’m always looking for good ideas!
Y’all, I gave up on Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It’s Christmas. I don’t want to spend my free time reading about a tragic death and a sad little girl. I have started The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Van Glaser. Yes, it’s a middle-grade novel, but it’s set at Christmastime and is full of precocious children doing fun things. I also just started Eragon by Christopher Paolini on audiobook. I know, I know, I’m like decades behind with this one. But that audiobook reader has a British accent and he’s telling an addicting fantasy story, so I’m planning to churn my way through quickly.