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Gingerbread Men all year long with Krusteaz! (Why not?)
Written by Karen Logan   

I hope you don’t think it’s too late to make gingerbread men just because Christmas is over! Gingerbread can be enjoyed any time of year, and, for your little ones, it pairs especially well with a glass of milk and the classic folktale “The Gingerbread Man.” This Christmas, I was so thrilled to discover a delicious and oh-so-easy gingerbread mix, that I feel compelled to share it with you! I’m sure my family will this mix again and again throughout the years! Note: According to the product website, this mix is only around in the autumn  season, so I recommend snagging a couple of boxes for your spring and summertime pantry while it’s still available.

For convenience, I grabbed a box of
Krusteaz Gingerbread Cookie Mix from H-E-B so my girls could make cookies for Santa this year. Krusteaz wouldn’t have been my first choice. The box is kind of dull and the cookies on the photo look average. However, this was the cookie mix on the end cap of the frozen foods aisle, so we snagged a box on a whim on the way to the check-out line. We usually leave out sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies for Santa, but I recently scored a new gingerbread man cookie cutter set in a White Elephant gift exchange, and I was anxious to put it to work.

Thank goodness you can’t judge a book by it’s cover – or a gingerbread cookie by it’s box, if you will – because our gingerbread cookies were downright delicious. (Just trust me on this. Our poor cutting and decorating skills don't do these little guys justice!) The Krusteaz gingerbread cookie mix requires a couple of simple ingredients – one egg and a stick of softened butter. Beware – regular margarine won’t yield the best results; real butter is key here, and after reading this tip on the box, I found myself making a last-minute dash to the store to grab Challenge AA Butter.

We used our fingers to mix all the ingredients together, then, at the recommendation on the box, we set the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to help the mix solidify a bit more for ease in cutting. The girls enjoyed rolling out the dough on the counter, and then it was time to use the cutters. Let’s be clear. My go-to is pre-cut refrigerated cookies, so my initial technique for cutting out these men and putting them in the pan was not the best. Peeling the cut cookie from the counter would mostly disfigure the little men, unless the dough was rolled really thick.  My 9-year-old suggested rolling out the dough and cutting it in the pan to avoid having to transfer the men from counter to pan (we’d only have to peel up the cut-away part.) It was a smart suggestion that I’m embarrassed I didn’t think of myself! My husband suggested using parchment paper, and I suppose that would’ve worked great too. I’m curious to know – what technique is used by cookie-making experts? Drop us a line with pointers if you have a clue!

 

 
 

In any case, our box of mix yielded about 9 large gingerbread man cookies and 10-15 small ones. My house smelled absolutely heavenly while they baked! Even with pine wreaths, funnel cakes, holiday-themed candles, and other wonderful aromas of the season, the smell of these humble little cookies took first place! And they took only 10 minutes to bake. Afterwards, we cooled each pan for about 10 minutes before icing each man. (Okay – some of us couldn’t wait 10 minutes for ALL of them. They were so good and soft to eat when warm, but, as you can guess, they don’t hold up too well until they’ve cooled and hardened). The perfect combination of molasses, sweet cinnamon, and ginger are irresistible.

 

We decorated these cookies with Wilton writing icing to enjoy for Christmas, and Santa got our leftovers. Next time, I’ll make these as part of a gingerbread-themed learning unit with my 3 year old and a reading of  The Gingerbread Man Story. I do hope you get to try Krusteaz gingerbread cookie mix while it’s still around this season! Enjoy! 

 
 
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