I have so many good memories of gingerbread. I associate it most with a college friend, S; he was so quiet and shy but I got to know him through a church group and the one thing he wasn’t shy about were sweet, spicy, snappy gingerbread men that I’d bake in the dorm kitchen and bring to events. My recipe was legendary, with the secret ingredient being butterscotch instant pudding mix. Mmmmm.
For the party last weekend, I wanted a soft, cake-y gingerbread, something simple after 7 or 8 samplings of soups. I started with this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/12/01/my-favorite-gingerbread-men-recipe/ but I modified in a few ways: I had no molasses, so I subbed in more brown sugar and a bit of honey. I used pumpkin pie spice mix instead of the separate cloves-allspice-cinnamon, but I used the right amount of ginger! The one direction I recommend following: letting the cookie dough set in the fridge for 3 or 4 hours! I didn’t turn my cookies into gingerbread men, but they held up beautifully between fridge and oven.
I made the dough the morning of the party and baked them after running out to visit J and her rolly polly baby E; after lots of slobbering and toothless smiles, E went down for a nap and I came home and baked the cookies! They were high and puffy like I like, and though husband was disappointed because they weren’t ginger snaps (evidently I need a good recipe for those!), I thought they turned out wonderful. I’ve been eating the leftovers for days as little breakfast cookies with my coffee. They remind me of mornings in college when my church group friends would go on walks or evenings when we’d go out and watch meteors during the Perseids. A cookie companion makes cold weather more bearable, and even though Autumn hasn’t quite reared her head yet here, these cookies make me less worried about winter coming.