Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to Make Easy, Cost-Efficient Gingerbread Mustaches

Okay, so the tradition is probably gingerbread men, but hey, a girl's got to spice it up sometimes, right? As it turns out, I only have fun novelty cookie cutters. So when it came time to cut these cookies out I was left with two options—mustaches or stars? I ended up doing both, but I have to admit that the mustaches are just plain awesome. Feel free to try this recipe with any cookie cutter you have.

Can the Gingerbread Man
Excerpted from The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money

Cardamom hot chocolate and gingerbread mustaches
Want the recipe for the Exotic Cardamom Hot Chocolate? Check it out here.
Cost savings: About 78 cents a cookie
Benefits: Homemade cookies decorated as you wish

There's nothing like an assortment of old-fashioned gingerbread man cookies to get friends and family into the holiday spirit. These make great stocking stuffers, gifts, or decorations.

Large Gingerbread Men (or in this case, mustaches)
Makes 24 large gingerbread men

3/4 cup (165 g) butter
1/2 cup (115 g) brown sugar, packed firm
1 egg
3/4 cup (255 g) molasses
3 cups (360 g) sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons (3.6 g) powdered ginger
1 teaspoon (2.3 g) ground cinnamon

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil (* Katie note: I used parchment paper instead). Beat the butter and brown sugar together; add the egg and molasses. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the salt and spices and mix it into the moist ingredients. Chill for 2 hours. Roll out the dough and cut out cookies. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C, or gas mark 5). Cool. Decorate with homemade icing.

Flour and spicesGingerbread dough


Gingerbread dough all rolled out

Mustache cookie cutters

Ready to make gingerbread cookies

Baking gingerbread cookies

Delicious gingerbread cookies


* Katie note: I didn't decorate my cookies, since I liked them to look like mustaches, but you're welcome to use the icing recipe below to give your cookies a traditional look.

Homemade Gingerbread Icing

1 1/2 cups (180 g) confectioner's sugar
1 egg white
Several drops lemon juice

Beat the ingredients until thick and smooth. The mixture should stiffen up like a paste; if it's too runny, add more confectioners' sugar. Add food coloring if you wish; mix well. Put it in a pastry bag and pipe onto cookies. Cinnamon red hots make suitable eyes and mouths; use icing as glue. Once the icing has hardened (1 hour or so), tie on a hanging ribbon (if using) and wrap each cookie securely in plastic food wrap.

If you're looking for some amazing (and cost-saving) holiday craft projects from this book, pop on over to Craftside. Stef has featured a post on how to fold a gift box and make a t-shirt wreath from The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques. Very cool!

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If you (like me) are looking to save money and run your household better, be sure to check out The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money. This awesome book has all the insider tips of how to have fun at home while saving money.

The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques the Save You Money

Our forefathers and mothers knew how to keep their homes clean and homey—and live richer while spending less. Many of today's products are expensive, bad for the environment, and don't work any better than Grandma's methods, which only cost pennies.

The editors at Back Home Magazine have collected hundreds of formulas for effective cleaning, gardening, and home maintenance—as well as ways our ancestors saved on heating bills, prevented costly repairs, and maintained a cozy, charming home with little besides ingenuity.

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The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money is chock-full of solutions, recipes, and how-to projects for living a simpler, cleaner life and keeping your home beautiful.