Saturday, December 19, 2009

Run, run as fast as you can!

... you can't catch me, I'm The Gingerbread Man!

An old woman was baking one day, and she made some gingerbread. She had some dough left over, so she made the shape of a little man. She made eyes for him, a nose and a smiling mouth all of currants, and placed more currants down his front to look like buttons. Then she laid him on a baking tray and put him into the oven to bake.

After a little while, she heard something rattling at the oven door. She opened it and to her surprise out jumped the little gingerbread man she had made. She tried to catch him as he ran across the kitchen, but he slipped past her, calling as he ran:

"Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

She chased after him into the garden where her husband was digging. He put down his spade and tried to catch him too, but as the gingerbread man sped past him he called over his shoulder:

"Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

As he ran down the road he passed a cow. The cow called out, "Stop, gingerbread man! You look good to eat!" But the gingerbread man laughed and shouted over his shoulder:

"I've run from an old woman
And an old man.
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

The cow ran after the old woman and the old man, and soon they all passed a horse. "Stop!" called out the horse, "I'd like to eat you." But the gingerbread man called out:

"I've run from an old woman,
And an old man,
And a cow!
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

He ran on, with the old woman and the old man and the cow and the horse following, and he went past a party of people haymaking. They all looked up as they saw the gingerbread man, and as he passed them he called out:

"I've run from an old woman,
And from an old man,
And a cow and a horse.
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

The haymakers joined in the chase behind the old woman and the old man, the cow and the horse, and they all followed,him as he ran through the fields. There he met a fox, so he called out to the fox:

"Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"

But the sly fox said, "Why should I bother to catch you?" although he thought to himself, "That gingerbread man would be good to eat." Just after he had run past the fox the gingerbread man had to stop because he came to a wide, deep, swift-flowing river. The fox saw the old woman and the old man, the cow, the horse and the haymakers all chasing the gingerbread man so he said, "Jump on my back, and I'll take you across the river!"

The gingerbread man jumped on the fox's back and the fox began to swim. As they reached the middle of the river, where the water was deep, the fox said, "Can you stand on my head, Gingerbread Man, or you will get wet." So the gingerbread man pulled himself up and stood on the fox's head. As the current flowed more swiftly, the fox said, "Can you move on to my nose, Gingerbread Man, so that I can carry you more safely? I would not like you to drown." The gingerbread man slid on to the fox's nose. But when they reached the bank of the river, the fox suddenly went snap! The gingerbread man disappeared into the fox's mouth, and was never seen again.

When your whole house fills with the aroma of gingerbread, you know Christmas is near. Less than a week to go in fact!

Today I want to share one of my favourite cookie recipes at this time of the year. It's so very decadent and easy to make! And they are always a hit :)

You will need:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
200g of high quality chocolate
Ice cream, to serve

1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Makes: 24

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened for about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar and beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate and turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick. Seal with wrap and refrigerate until firm (takes approximately 2 hours).

Heat oven to 185 degrees C. Roll dough into 3cm balls; place 5cm apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.

5. Eat on its own or serve with icecream. Make mental note to prepare a double batch for next time ;)


PS. While we are on the topic of gingerbread men, check out these ABC Gingerbread Cookie Cutters. So cute!

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