Gingerbread People!

Immigrants brought the tradition of gingerbread making to the United States, and Melody brought the tradition to me.  I do not remember whose idea it was, that we should get together and make cookies, but it is one of my Christmas traditions, from California, that I most miss.  A few weeks before Christmas, we would get together, rotating where we cooked, having a nice dinner, watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas carols, and turning out dozens and dozens of cookies!  (Pictured are a few of our creations from those days, tonight Kate and I will begin to make this year’s cookies!)

Gingerbread People Recipe


1 cup of Brown Sugar – tightly packed

⅓ cup Margarine – I do not like margarine, but there are few recipes, which really do require margarine or shortening – this is one of them

1 ½ cups of Molasses

⅔ cups of cold Water

7 cups of Flour

2 teaspoons of Baking Soda

3 teaspoons of ground Ginger

1 teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of ground Allspice

1 teaspoon of ground Nutmeg

1 teaspoon of ground Cloves

1 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon


The dough is heavy.  It is hard to mix, as you must incorporate a lot of flour, but take your time, and do not be afraid to ask, a friend for help! Start the dough by mixing the sugar, margarine, molasses, and water together, in a large bowl, or with a mixer.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well, and put into a large plastic bag, and refrigerate for two hours.

Work with only a portion of the dough, at a time.  On a floured board, with a floured rolling pin, roll out sheets of dough, until they are about ¼ of an inch thick.  Dip the cookie cutter in flour, and then cut your people, and gingerly place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet, about two inches apart.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Cool and decorate – the fun part!

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