Monday, December 2, 2019

Krampus Revisited: Creepy Gingies and My Favorite Irreverent Movie Christmas Scene #FoodNFlix

This month Heather, from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen and the founder of the Food'N'Flix group, is hosting this month's edition of #FoodNFlix.

And she has asked us to post anything inspired by a favorite holiday movie. That can be Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza. If it happens in December, it's fair game. Read her invitation: here.

I considered re-watching Elf when I had shared my Holiday Hijinx Ramen or A Christmas Story that inspired by Christmas Turkey á la Chop Suey Palace. Then I thought about some of the boys' favorite Christmas movies. But, as we were discussing possible films, they said, "Mom, isn't it about time for our annual Krampus viewing?" Sure is!

On the Screen
Three years ago Heather invited us to watch Krampus and I had no idea what that even was. Well, the opening scene of that film cemented itself as my favorite irreverent Christmas scenes of all time and we pull out the DVD every single year to laugh and laugh about that first sequence.

A little background that Heather shared way back when: "As folklore has it, in Germany, Austria, and many Central European states, St. Nicholas and Krampus were partners. On the eve of St. Nicholas Day the two would work together, St. Nicholas would fill the boots of the good children with fruits, sweets or other treats, and Krampus would kidnap the naughty children, often beating them, and drag them away from their homes.

"Krampus wore chains and bells, and was said to have the cloven hooves and horns of a goat, with a long, barbed tongue. So yeah, horrifying enough to scare the naughty children straight, I'd say."

So, Krampus opens with a hilarious scene at a fictional store that includes people racing in as soon as the store opens, battling over Christmas items, trampling people to get to the best sales, and other atrocities of holiday shopping. It's commercialism at it best worst! Seriously.

Then the family - Tom (dad), Sarah (mom), Max (son), Beth (daughter), and Omi (grandmother) - prepare for arrival of the extended family. At the dinner, the cousins steal Max's letter to Santa and read it aloud. Humiliated, Max declares that Christmas is ruined, tears the letter to pieces, and throws it out the window.

Almost immediately, a freak blizzard sweeps through, creepy snowmen appear in the yard, and the movie begins to feel like an 80s horror movie. You know: simultaneously creepy and funny.

That's all I'm going to say about the movie. We chuckled through it, sipping our hot chocolate because, as Omi says, "Hot chocolate makes everything better." True. R did note, "I'm glad we're watching this during the day, though. It might have actually been scary at night." 

On the Plate...
As part of Krampus' nefarious troops, there are deranged dolls, evil elves, and these flaming crazed cookies. We talked about how to set the gingerbread men on fire; but safety prevailed. Though these are largely unadorned, the craggy candied gingerbread features look a little creepy, right? These gingerbread men are very gingery with freshly grated ginger, ginger powder, ginger syrup, and candied ginger pressed into the dough. So, if you're a ginger fan, I think you'll love these creepy gingies. 

makes a dozen 5" gingerbread men
  • 1 C butter
  • 1 C organic dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 C unsulphured molasses
  • 1/3 C ginger syrup
  • 6 C flour + more as needed
  • 1 C ground almond meal (or almond flour)
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t cocoa powder (I used Black Onyx Cocoa Powder, read about that here)
  • 1/2 t ground allspice
  • 1/2 t ground white pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/4 C candied ginger, thinly sliced
  • Also needed: cookie cutters (I used a 5" gingerbread man shape), parchment paper, rolling pin

Melt the butter and whisk in the molasses, ginger syrup, sugar, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and blend till you have a stiff dough. Split dough into quarters and roll into a ball. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4" thick. 

Place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Press candied ginger pieces into the head to made a face. Place the trays in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before baking.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on thickness. They should be firm and nicely browned.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a minute or so before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough. 

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  1. Hah....I can't believe you chose Krampus as your favorite Holiday movie. I think you just wanted to make gingerbread LOL....

    1. You are right! But, really, we LOVE that opening scene. Then we usually turn it off. LOL.


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