This facet of Christmas movies is related to the themes of love from my previous post. Romance stories seem to be a given in most, if not all, Christmas movies. It then stands to reason that “single” is the name of the game here.
The protagonists of these films usually start of as single, sometimes with no desire of finding love (Let it Snow, Christmas Under Wraps), sometimes with no time, due to being a single parent or running a business (Northpole, The Christmas Shepherd, Cookie Cutter Christmas). Sometimes the characters singleness is a problem for the rest of their family (Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, Holiday in Handcuffs, Hitched for the Holidays) But don’t worry. They will find true love. Love always wins.
If the protagonist is in a relationship at the beginning of the movie, it is likely with the wrong person and they will end up with their soulmate by the time the 2 hours are up (It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Matchmaker Santa, A Christmas Detour). Sorry for any spoilers, guys, but I promise it doesn’t ruin the movie watching experience.
I figured making little gingerbread boys and girls would be the perfect accompaniment to this Christmas movies matchmaking topic.
Gingerbread has been around for over 1000 years. It was brought to Europe in 992 by an Armenian monk who taught gingerbread making to French Christians. At this time, it was more likely he was making spiced honey cakes similar to those eaten by the wealthy in Ancient Rome and Greece. There wasn’t any ginger in these cakes.
Ginger was spread throughout Europe by the Crusaders. It was found to hold medicinal properties and was used a cure for many stomach ailments. The center for the ginger trade became Germany, but then quickly spread throughout Europe. Different types of gingerbread, be they cakes or cookies, can found in various regions in Europe and the United States. It is believed that the first instance of people-shaped gingerbread was in England, attributed to Queen Elizabeth I.
This history of this treat is actually pretty interesting. While I was researching, I came across this site which offers a lot of information. It is worth checking out! https://whydyoueatthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/day-20-gingerbread/
Gingerbread cookies1 1/2 sticks of butter
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (could have been closer to 3/4… call it a heaping teaspoon!)
In a mixer, cream together butter and both sugars. Then add vanilla, egg, and molasses and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Working in small amounts, add the flour to the molasses mixture and mix until well combined. (sorry, I was a bit lazy on the photos for this one!)
Divide the dough in two to make it easier to work with. Roll out on a floured surface to about a 1/4 inch thick. I like a softer cookie, so this is a good thickness for me. If you like your cookies a bit crisper, then roll the dough a bit thinner. Don’t forget to adjust your cooking time so it doesn’t burn!
I don’t do a whole lot of decorating on my gingerbread cookies. I like my cookies a bit plainer. So before I bake them, I take a small skewer and make a little face. Go ahead and push down most of the way through the cookie. It will puff up when it bakes so you don’t want the face to disappear.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.
After they come out of the oven, put the buttons on the cookies. You have to do this as soon as they come out, while they are still hot. This way, the candies melt a little bit from the residual heat and by the time the cookie has cooled, the candy stays put. I’ve tried to bake them with the candies already on, but they melt and then get hard and it makes it difficult to eat.
I made this little guy as a bonus :0) I saw this on Pinterest or something and I thought it was such a clever idea to turn the gingerbread man upside down and make a reindeer! How did I live for 31 years without realizing that an upside gingerbread man looks like a reindeer?! Whoever discovered this is genius.