Magazine article Sunset

Ginger-Kids Grow into a Tradition

Magazine article Sunset

Ginger-Kids Grow into a Tradition

Article excerpt

Family traditions abound during the holidays. Over the years, favorite Sunset recipes have become part of holiday celebrations in many Western homes. One of those classics is our Gingerbread People, first published in Sunset's December 1965 issue. Since then, thanks to readers who've revitalized the cookies every Christmas, the jaunty cookies have kept pace with the times.

Give these cutups whatever character you like. Start by making the cookie cutter, then shape the dough and decorate with frosting. We give two versions of the dough: the first is our original dark, spicy version; the other makes a lighter-colored cookie that shows up better on the tree.

These cookies can hang on a tree for up to several days, in a dry place for several weeks. (Trees give off moisture, which may soften and weaken cookies.) Or give them as gifts; covered with plastic wrap, they last about a week.

Making the cutter

You need a permanent felt-tip marker or china marker; a ruler; a piece of 6-inch-wide, 37-inch-long aluminum roof flashing (available at hardware stores and lumberyards); work gloves; tin snips or old scissors; tracing paper; a pencil; a large nail; and masking tape.

With the marker, draw a line to mark off a 1-inch-wide strip the full length of the aluminum. Wearing gloves, cut the strip with tin snips or an old pair of scissors (step 1, below). For extra safety (especially if children will be helping), cover sharp edges of aluminum with masking tape.

Trace the pattern on this page, then bend strip as shown in step 3. Overlap ends where they join, and secure with tape; cut off extra metal. Refine shape; to make sharp loops, such as the thumb detail, bend the strip around the nail.

Gingerbread People

1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon each salt, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger

1 1/3 cups light molasses

2/3 cup apple juice or water

About 8 cups all-purpose flour

Purchased ornamental frosting, in tubes

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar, soda, salt, and spices until creamy. Add molasses and juice; mix until blended. …

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