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News in Youth Services

Monday, December 10, 2018

Baking Some Memories

The holidays bring back the memories of baking cookies with my family.  It was always fun to make the dough and use the cookie cutters to form holiday shapes.  However, the best part was always decorating the cookies.  This reminds me of one of my favorite children's stories, The Gingerbread Man.  There are many different versions of the story - Gingerbread Boy, Gingerbread Baby, Gingerbread Girl, Gingerbread Cowboy - but one that is special this time of year is Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray. The Gingerbread Man goes on field trips with the school and everyone in his class is busy getting ready to thank the people who help their community.  The Gingerbread Man has made his own extra sweet card.  Right before he is to deliver his gift,  the wind picks up and the snow falls, leaving slushy sidewalks. Will he get to deliver his gift to his special person?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

Delicious Desserts:  Sweet Treats from the Premier Children's Cooking School  by Barbara Beery has a wonderful gingerbread cookie recipe you might like to try.  Here are the ingredients you'll need:

3/4 cup butter, softened                                                   
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup molasses
Powdered sugar (for rolling out dough)

Now for the directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Combine butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses in a large bowl.
3.  Stir in the dry ingredients and mix.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (this might be a really good time to read The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas or some other version of a Gingerbread Man story.)
4.  Take out about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dough, and roll out to 1/4- or 1/2-inch thickness.  The secret is to use powdered sugar to roll out the cookie dough because it won't toughen the cookies if too much is used.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the gingerbread man shape.
5.  Cover a cookie sheet with foil and then spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of cookie.
6.  Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then remove carefully.  Cool for about ten minutes and then get ready to decorate!

Enjoy baking some holiday memories!

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