For Christmas This Year, I Got a Brand New Life. And You Got Some Gingerbread Men. Or Women. Or Amoebas.

6 Jan

*Note: This post was supposed to go up after Christmas and before New Year’s. Then, I found a new place, cancelled my internet at the old place, and escaped with my belongings “like a refugee,” as my boyfriend put it. Sorry for the lateness, even sorrier that it will be a while until I’m able to blog again. Lots of love and best wishes for the happiest year yet!

This just made me happy. That's the only reason it's here.

The new life thing’s sort of true. I did get a new apartment! It’s beautiful, it’s in a great neighborhood– so great that I have to call it a “neighborhood” and not just a “hood”– and it’s FOR REAL! Know what else is for real? Packing. Packing is real life, and real life is annoying right now. So, dear readers, it might be at least a couple of weeks before I’m able to bake and post again. I’ll be busy trying to wedge an enormous couch up the steepest, narrowest flight of stairs you’ve never seen (and never will, since you won’t have my new zip code suckas!). Oh, while I have you, if anyone’s willing to lend me any large, empty boxes and a large, empty van (shady!), I’ll happily bake you the treat of your choice.

Moving is very strange. It’s also a little scary. I’ve lived in the same apartment for three years now. I’ve lived in this same ‘hood for just about my entire life. Also, I’ve lived alone for a good chunk of that time, which will [happily] no longer be the case. Still, leaving this place has meant tears, drama, more tears, packing tape, Sharpie markers, and bawling. Tears. Everywhere.

It’s not that I’m all that sad to be leaving the ‘hood. But saying goodbye to something comfortable– even if it’s kind of smelly and comfortable– for something new, pretty and slightly more costly is incredibly trying. I think I’ve developed a Stockholm Syndrome-y relationship with my ugly rock-hard couches, because I’m going to miss them a tiny bit. I’m sort of worried I’ll just stress-eat everything in sight, which would eliminate any perishable goods before the big move. It may also eliminate the possibility of me making up that narrow stairway, though. Logic. I got it. In all honesty, I am very grateful to have so much newness at once in my life. It’s a lovely, surprising Christmas gift. (But I still hate Christmas.)

Anyway, before I take this little mini-hiatus, let me leave you with something classic: Gingerbread Folks!

Gingerbread Folks (makes 24 cookies)

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of molasses (light or dark, I used dark)

2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 cup of butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Combine molasses, sugar and spices in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir just until the mixture begins to boil, then remove from heat. Stir in baking soda, and bring over the kiddies, because the mixture will start to balloon and do this:

Ginger Bread Stay Puft Man. I wish there were video.

It looks cooler in person, trust. Stir in butter, egg and flour until the mixture forms a dough. Divide in half, and wrap one section in plastic and set aside while you work with the other. With a floured rolling pin, flatten out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness, then start cutting out gingerbread dudes/ladies as you wish. Re-roll the excess and continue to make cutouts until all the dough runs out. Lay cookies flat about 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. When fully heated, throw the cookies in the oven for about 12 minutes, until the edges are browned. Let cool completely before frosting…should you decide to frost. And if you should decide to frost, keep reading!

Royal Icing

4 egg whites

4 cups of confectioners’ sugar

Beat egg whites and sugar in a large bowl until fully combined and glossy. Dip one side of each cookie into the icing, then use a butter knife to spread evenly. Decorate as you wish (I used mini chocolate chips and M&Ms in case you decide to copy me because of how cool I obviously am), then leave to dry for 15-20 minutes.

Now, I’m not usually a fan of things that aren’t chocolate based, chocolate filled, and just plain chocolate. But man, gingerbread cookies are what’s UP this time of year! Classic sometimes just can’t be beat. So, while I take this mini-vacay to adjust to a new living situation, please enjoy this timeless sweet. See you next year, kids!

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