Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Betty Crocker's Gingerbread Boys

Since I had already made my usual Gingerbread Men recipe earlier this season, I decided that I would branch out and try a new one for my second round of cookies this year.

This post also brings up a fun story about my Betty Crocker cookbook.

When I was growing up, mom had her 1970s bright-orange edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook, and that was practically all we would ever use when it came to baking. In fact, my favorite chocolate cake recipe comes from this book.

One of the first times I went over to my hubby's house, I saw the exact same bright orange cookbook on his bookshelf! It was then, at that very moment, that I knew he was the one. . .

So back to the cookies! I thought this was an interesting recipe because it uses shortening instead of butter, and it uses no eggs. I tweaked the spices to my tastes and here is what I came up with!

Gingerbread Cookies

Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1976)

1/2 cup shortening (ex. Crisco)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in molasses, water, flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Cover; chill 2 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375F. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter; place on ungreased baking sheet.

Decorate with raisins, red hots, or other candies (make sure you pick candies that won't melt!).

Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet. Cool on racks.

Decorate with icing as desired, and enjoy!

Comparison to my regular recipe for gingies:
I was amazed at how different these cookies turned out than my usual recipe. I served these at a Christmas caroling party over the weekend, and people could not stop eating these. They are slightly crispier and chewier than my other recipe, which is usually more cake-like and fluffy. These tasted like the freshest ginger snaps you've ever had. I'm pretty much sold on them as my new yearly recipe! I wish I had a picture to show, but we sort of decorated these AT the party, and they were eaten up too fast for me to have a photo session. We are making another batch for Christmas Eve, so hopefully I'll snap a few photos then!


nicole said...

I just made your orginal one (http://bigcitycooking.blogspot.com/2008/12/gingerbread-cookies.html) now I will have to try this one too!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

There's something about the older recipes... they tend to be better than some of the newer ones floating about!

Holly said...

I have my mom's Orange Bettty Crocker Cookbook from the 80's, and it has all my favorite childhood recipes in it too! Ah, the memories.

Last night I made the Pound Cake recipe from it, and added coconut, it's so freakin' rich and good! You should try that one.


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