GINGERBREAD MAN ORNAMENTS
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the colors, the smells and the traditions that surround this time of year. One tradition that I have held onto and practice, is making homemade ornaments for my Christmas tree. One of the ornaments that I do is gingerbread man ornaments. These little guys not only smell good and are cute as a button, but they tend to always give me a smile (and a giggle) when I look at them. The great thing about making these ornaments is that they are edible unlike some cookie ornament recipes. The only thing that you do different is you dry the ornaments after you bake them. I like to make a double batch of dough, make one batch for ornaments and the other batch for GINGERBREAD COOKIES and GINGERBREAD MAN LATTES. One tip is to use the same ribbon throughout your whole tree decorating scheme, this will give a cohesive look to your tree. These also can be used for other holiday decorations like on your holiday wreath or as gifts for your co-workers.
You will need these items per ornament you are making (multiply accordingly):
1 gingerbread man ornament base (see recipe below)
1 old fashioned candy cane (one with the hook on top), wrapped in cellophane
16 inches of decorative ribbon with wire sides (I find that this type of ribbon works best)
clear scotch tape
Place your ribbon on a flat surface horizontal, lay your candy cane upright with hook facing up in the middle of the ribbon. Match the two ends of the ribbon and tie (just one time, not twice to make a knot) around the candy cane 1/2 way down the straight part from the hook. Use a small piece of clear tape and adhere the ribbon to the candy cane wrapper on the back side. Take your decorated gingerbread man and lay on the ribbon in the front, tie the ribbon across the gingerbread man from his neck to under the diagonal arm into a tight bow (see picture above). Snip ends of ribbon at a diagonal with scissors. Hang the ornament by the hook of the candy cane.
GINGERBREAD MAN ORNAMENT BASE
Makes about 24 to 36, depending on size of cookie cutter
5 cups unbleached whole wheat all purpose flour
1 tsp. fresh ground cinnamon stick (use a micro-plane)
1 1/2 tsp.ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. fresh ground whole cloves (use an old coffee grinder)
1 tsp. fresh ground whole nutmeg (use a micro-plane)
1 tsp. fresh ground sea salt
1tsp. baking soda
1 cup organic sugar
2 sticks of organic unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unsulphered natural back strap molasses
2 organic eggs
2 TBSP. water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar together with a fork until smooth. In another large bowl, sift the remaining DRY ingredients together. Add your molasses, eggs and water to your butter/sugar mix and beat until smooth. Add your dry ingredients to this and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to about 1/2 inch thick, cut with cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, turn off oven and allow to dry for 3 hours in cooling oven. Remove from oven and decorate with royal icing (6 TBSP powdered sugar mixed with 2 tsp water) using a pastry bag with a small metal tip. You only need to do a fave and a couple of buttons. Allow to dry overnight. Now use for your ornaments.