I received the products mentioned in this post for free from TSC. The opinions expressed in my post are my own and not those of Rogers.
With less than a week to go, polling shows gingerbread has a decisive lead in the festive treats race. (Check out my last post for cute cookie ideas, a giveaway and up-to-the-minute poling results.) Today I’ve put a few new twists on an old family favourite. It’s a gingerbread boys recipe I think you’ll enjoy. (Of course you can make them girls or stars or whatever else you fancy.) My friend Cathy’s mother-in-law used to make them for her sons and grandsons when they were little (actually she still does). Their giant size thrilled the kids and their heft made them easy to handle and not so easy to break, which is essential when shipping them by post. On those years the grandkids couldn’t make it to see Nonna at Christmas time, she would package the gingerbread boys in popcorn to protect them on their journey, along with all the decorating essentials. I know. So sweet, eh? And isn’t it sweet that while I had visions of sugar plums dancing through my head, TSC had visions of me making cookies. To help me meet the demand for gingerbread boys they kindly sent me a KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer to review, and boy-oh-gingerbread-boy, this baby can
The larger 5-quart model has been my right hand in the kitchen for years, so I was curious to see how the two would compare. The mini is 20% smaller and 25% lighter but feels just as substantial and takes up less valuable counter real estate. In terms of power, the mini delivers 250 watts versus the 5-quart’s 325 — still plenty of power to get the job done — and has 10 speeds (same as my larger one). And the colours are so delicious! You can choose from 14 hues including this gorgeous ink blue.
You won’t mind if I stay in my jammies, will you? I highly recommend it for maximum baking cozyness.
The mixer came with a stainless steel bowl, a wire whip, a dough hook and the flex edge beater here, which are all a cinch to attach to the beater shaft. I was a little disappointed that it didn’t come with the plastic pouring shield as well (I use mine all the time to keep wet and dry ingredients from flying all over the place) but the mini has a Soft Start® feature that helps prevent splash. And it did in my case, ‘tho a larger batch might have made a mess, I don’t know. To be determined.
Now some sugar was flying out here, but that’s only because it was bouncing off the beater. I should have snuck it in on the side.
Probably the fifteenth time I checked the recipe. I’m a little obsessive like that.
I’m just creaming the sugar and shortening here so there’s more ingredients to come, but the bowl was plenty big enough for the batch. And would probably suit us just fine for everyday use. I mean, if you’re making bread or a double batch of something I suppose you’d need a larger bowl but for my purposes it was perfect.
My only complaint is just a piddly one in that the speed control knob was a little sticky to move. Maybe it’ll loosen up over time? That said, I don’t remember ever feeling that with the 5-quart model.
Now while those fellas are in the oven I can tell you The Shopping Channel also sent the Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment. I haven’t yet tried it, but I’ll let you know how it goes in an upcoming post. Any recipes you’d like to see? Maybe a quiche for Christmas morning or a chocolate zucchini loaf for snacking?
I don’t know about you, but I could really go for a cookie. Will you try Cathy’s mother-in-law’s gingerbread boys?
Makes about 9 5-inch cookies (I made 8 5-inch cookies and three smaller guys)
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup milk
Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten egg and beat well. Add molasses and blend.
Sift flour with baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon and add to the wet mixture, alternating with milk. Mix until smooth.
Chill dough about 45 minutes in the fridge or until stiff enough to roll easily.
Turn onto floured counter. Roll and cut with floured gingerbread boy cutter. Lift carefully onto a cutting board and put in freezer for 15 minutes. (This should help prevent spreading as they cook.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 20 minutes, rotating pan after 10 minutes.
Let sit for one or two minutes then remove from cookie sheet with a spatula and let fully cool on a cooling rack. Decorate if desired.
Okay everybody. You might want to sit down for this one. Thanks to TSC, I’ve got a KitchenAid Artisan Mini and Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment to help one of you get ready for the holidays. (I know, it’s Christmas come early!!) To enter to win, tell me what you’ll whip up with your new mixer in the comment section at the bottom of this post, then head over to HERE to enter your contact information. Both steps are mandatory.
And while sharing is optional, it is the holiday season so tell your friends and family about this fun and festive recipe so they can try it and enter too! Click below to RT.
The contest is open to Canadian residents excluding Quebec and ends at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, December 11, 2017. You’ll find the full details here.
Now after all that baking a girl needs needs some R & R so I’m off to Toronto for a few days. I’ll have limited access to wifi, but I’ll check in as often as I can. I love to read your comments and feedback to so talk to me people. Good luck to all!
Update December 13, 2017: Congratulations Judy K!