Once upon a Christmas season, a mother baked Gingerbread Men cookies to the delight of her three children who eagerly waited for the cookies to bake. The waft of molasses, cinnamon and spices excited them. “We’re hungry, mom!”. The mother told them to be patient and promised to read them the Story of the Gingerbread Man as soon as the cookies were baked.
She got three cookies and laid them on a platter.
“Can we eat the Gingerbread Man now?” The children tugged at their mom’s apron.
“Let’s read the Gingerbread Man story first so you know the legend…” the mother said and left the platter of cookies on the table. The three children and the mother huddled around the Christmas tree as she began to read…
Once upon a time a little old woman and a little old man lived in a cottage………
The little old woman and little old man were very hungry and wanted to eat the gingerbread man. As soon as he was cooked, the little old woman opened the oven door. The gingerbread man jumped out of the tin and ran out of the open window shouting, ‘Don’t eat me!’……..
The mother continued on until the end where the fox ate the Gingerbread Man.
“Did you like the story?”
“It’s sad that the fox ate the Gingerbread Man in the end. Can we now eat the Gingerbread Man Cookies? We’re not like the sly fox.” The children discussed among themselves.
“Sure…get your cookies on the plate.”
The three children turned to the platter…”Mom, look… the Gingerbread Man jumped out of the plate. He’s gone. ”
The mom looked surprised “Maybe he ran away… Let’s look for the Gingerbread Man”
The three children looked all over the house until each of them found their Gingerbread Man hidden in their toy chest.
The kids beamed with laughter “Silly Gingerbread Man. The fox will eat you anyway. Don’t run away now.”
And so this mother carried this tradition until the kids were older and wiser to know that the Gingerbread Man didn’t really ran away. By now you know I was that crazy mother. Hehe.
I instructed the kid’s yaya to hide it discreetly while I read the story to my three children.
For the past 20 or so years, I bake Gingerbread Man Cookies only because my crazy tale and the warm fuzzy feeling of christmas memories give my two older girls some comfort. The holidays are a wonderful time to fill my home with the aroma and fragrance of Christmas through baking Gingerbread Man and Christmas cookies. I ‘ve baked all sorts of Christmas goodies like Lemon Squares, Fruit Cake, Brandy Cake, Apple Pie, and other bar cookies but the demand of Gingerbread Man cookies are high on the list.
Though I don’t read the Gingerbread Man story anymore, I hang the cookies up on the garlands of our kitchen and dining area. The kids share the cookies to their close friends and they often say that they have never tasted a Gingerbread Man cookie.
Sure there are a few Gingerbread Man sold in other bakeshops. I bought the Gingerbread Man cookie in other bake shops but it tasted mostly of flour. Maybe because it’s not that easy to bake Gingerbread Man cookies . Our tropical climate makes the dough difficult to handle. Constant chilling is needed. Baking at the right temperature is tricky. If underbaked, the cookie crumbles easily. If overbaked, the cookie taste burnt and bitter. Still, I am sharing my Gingerbread Man Cookie recipe and the story for all to enjoy.
According to my girls, it’s the baking of the Gingerbread Man Cookies that evokes childhood memories of Christmas.