Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Triaging the Gingerbread Man Amputee Ward

After making all this food, somebody has to eat it, right?

I was sitting at the dining room table having lunch and thinking just that.  Working my way through an excellent-if-I-do-say-so-myself BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwich I surveyed the damages of the holidays. 

On the table is two bags of Gingerbread Cookies.  Wonderful things, but after you've had an army of them march through your front door on the way to parties along with Pizelles, Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, Pecan Brittle, and other home baked wonders, you end up with the leftovers.

Gingerbread cookies are a tricky thing to prepare.  Having watched three batches of the things march their way outside to do battle with the belt line since the holidays got into full swing, I came to realize that it is a wonder that you ever see them in a shop at all.  If done correctly, this recipe tends to be a little soft.  I like soft cookies, in fact I prefer them over crunchy ones for the most part. 

The problem is that Gingerbread Men have little dangly bits hanging off their torso.  Now, do get your mind out of the gutter, the dangly bits I'm talking about are the arms, legs, and head.  You roll the dough out while it is cold, use the cutter to make a large cookie of around 4 ounces, then gingerly slide them onto the baking parchment.  If they break while you are moving them, just wad them back up to be rolled out later because they just won't bake back into one piece without having that break become the death of that ginger-man in transit. 

The trick of getting these off the parchment paper is minimal in comparison to getting them to the destination in one piece.  You see, they will break if you look at them crosseyed.   If you make them thicker it is an invitation to leftovers because they're quite massive.  This explains well enough why commercial gingerbread men are usually hard enough to break a molar since they want to be able to sell them instead of discounting body parts.

I just weighed one and it came out to 4 ounces which would place it at a minimum of 440 calories per.  Watching the scale inch it's way upward since October, I'll be weighing out portions from now on out.

That little recovery ward is a bit too accessible.  Ginger Body Parts easily pop in the mouth every time you pass the table giving a spicy and sweet lift.  Meant as a conscious treat, they've become a subconscious necessity. 

Thankfully the holiday season is winding down.   I got to visit the Oakland Park, FL main post office on Oakland Park Blvd. yesterday and shipped off a box full of goodies to my sister.  There will be no Gingerbread body parts shipped though.   Last year the pizelles that I sent up there became pizelle flour because I didn't use anything to stop the motion.  This year the box is chock full of goodies again, but each type is isolated somehow from the rest. 

Only two more pounds of cookies are to be baked from the original batches.  I know where they're going and I'll be baking one more time before the weekend.  I'll just have to make sure that I don't leave them on the Dining Room Table. 

The Gingerbread Men may be jealous.

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