Skip to main content

Hansel and Gretel Gingerbreads #AGrimmThanksgiving


"Next to a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children. The boy's name was Hansel and the girl's name was Gretel. He had but little to eat, and once, when a great famine came to the land, he could no longer provide even their daily bread." 
~Hansel and Gretel

We all know the story, right? The woodcutter and his wife abandon the kids deep in the forest. Eventually the kids find a witch's cottage - a house made of bread - in the woods, but she is determined to fatten them up to eat them! Don't worry...this one ends well for the kids. Not for the witch.


We make lots and lots of gingerbread during the holidays. So, when D mentioned that he wanted a more cakey gingerbread for this batch, we opted to make a dough similar to what you use for Puerquitos, Mexican gingerbreads. Thankfully, my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf made the dough and rolled them out while I was busy making cranberry sauce, cranberry curd, and boules and boules of sourdough.

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookies
  • 1¼ cup organic dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, 1 for dough and 1 for finishing
  • ⅓ cup  milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (you can substitute honey)
  • 6 cups flour
  • ½ cup candied ginger (diced or use flakes)

Royal Icing
  • 2 egg whites, or more to thin icing
  • 6 cups organic powdered sugar, or more to thicken icing 
  • juice from 1 to 2 organic lemons (I used a Meyer lemon)

Procedure

Gingerbread Cookies
Beat brown sugar and butter together in a large bowl until well-combined. Add 1 egg, milk, and grated ginger; beat again until smooth. 


Add baking soda, all the spices, molasses, maple syrup, and candied ginger. Beat again.


Stir in 4 cups of flour. Gradually add remaining flour, using a wooden spoon. Once the dough starts to become stiff , quickly knead in the flour. It should come together into a ball.

Split dough into two balls. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to approximately ¼" thickness. 


Use a cookie cutter to cut out your gingerbreads. 


To go with the traditional shape of the Mexican puerquitos, D used a pig cutter. For the rest of the dough, we used a Christmas tree, stars, hearts, and plain circles. Place on prepared baking sheet. Re-roll dough and repeat until your dough is gone.

Beat the remaining egg, then brush a thin coat over the dough before you put it into the oven.

Place in preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes - until cookies just start to turn golden around the edges and are slightly raised. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Once they are cooled, you can decorate them with royal icing.


Royal Icing
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice. Beat for another minute. If the icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it's too thin, add more sugar. This icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


After making all the Thanksgiving pies for me, the boys were tired. So Jake helped me decorate.


I made some silly mask-wearing gingie heads with the plain circles. I figured it was a fitting tribute to this crazy year.


Then I was inspired by some henna tattoo designs and made more lacey patterns on the hearts and the Christmas trees.

 

These Hansel and Gretel Gingerbreads will be part of our dessert course for our Grimm Thanksgiving feast.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa