Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ninjabread Men

Who says you can only enjoy gingerbread at Christmastime? I understand that little gingerbread men and women have become a symbol for the holidays and a favorite Christmas past time for many. So I can understand why people associate this particular cookies with the holidays. But it's such a delicious flavor, it really shouldn't be relegated to just one or two months. The injustice! Now - how to break out the gingerbread sooner than yuletide? NINJAbread! These delicious warriors can be enjoyed anytime! I made them in the Halloween spirit because it felt like ninjas are a great go-to costume but you can enjoy a Ninjabread man anytime. Here's just one example:

When I was little we used to have something called Family Home Evening. Every (or most) Mondays we gather together as a family and talk about Gospel topics, do activities, and have treats together. One particular Monday we were learning about doing kind deeds for others. We read a variation of the Gingerbread Man in which you can never catch him because he is doing good deeds in secret for others. My mom had made a little plush gingerbread man and she had us do nice things for each other and then leave the gingerbread man as a calling card. For example, we would make somebody's bed for them and leave the gingerbread man on their pillow. When they would find it, they would do something nice for somebody in secret, and again, leave the little plush gingerbread man. It was adorable. Well, ninjabread men are even more sneaky then gingerbread men. They can do Service Without A Trace (S.W.A.T.!) You can wrap up these little cookies in cellophane or even ziplocks and have your kids use them as calling cards for good deeds that they do for each other. I see this as a win-win situation. Think of the satisfaction of a made bed AND a cookie simultaneously. The possibilities are endless!

You can purchase the cookie cutters here: here. I just used the recipe on the back of the box for my gingerbread. It was a pretty classic and standard recipe that also holds up well in the freezer. Besides frosting, I only used licorice and sprinkles for the decorations so you might even have everything on hand. Overall they were a fun and festive cookie to make!

Ninjabread Men

1. Cream together the shortening, sugar, spices and salt. Blend in egg and molasses.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix into molasses mixture. Stir until blended and then chill dough until firm and able to roll out.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Roll dough to 1/8 or slightly thicker on lightly floured surface. Use ninjabread cookie cutters to cut out. 
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
6. Decorate any way you like - I outlined them with frosting or sparkle gel then filled in the middle leaving the eyes and hands open; then cut small licorice pieces and apply as shown in picture to create uniform. Use sprinkles for eyes.

Note: The Sparkle Gel was extremely easy to use and cute but I did not like the taste near as much as the straight cookie icing. It tasted very Gel-like, if you can imagine.

Recipe Source - Fred and Friends

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