My crazy and lovable cousin, Veronica, had this wonderful idea to get together to bake some cookies for many of her deployed friends from the USO. I loved the idea to bake up some treats and ship them to the troops in Afghanistan because if there is anything to be thankful for – it’s our soldiers out there who are away from their loved ones. Veronica volunteers at the USO on a weekly basis and had knew about 25 soldiers who have been deployed. I thought it was a nice gesture to give a little something back to people who give their all for us. One of her requested cookies to make was to bake up a batch of gingerbread men cookies and decorate them with their army camo outfits using royal frosting. Cute idea right?
I had sketched out a couple of faces inspired from the gingerbread man in Shrek – laughing, smiling, sleeping, and the mad face. Veronica and I kept repeating quotes from the movie “Do you know the Muffin man?” “Eat me!” “NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!” and I kept resisting the urges to bite the legs off the gingerbread cookies. These gingerbread cookies are a perfect holiday treat and I’m hoping our wonderful packages of cookies will be enjoyed by many soldiers. They will hopefully find humor and warmth to our many faced gingerbread men. Thank you again for all that you do, and we appreciate everything that you do for our service. These gingerbread cookies were amazingly tasty because the mixture of spices gave a nice holiday feel for them, and looked absolutely adorable, too.
Gingerbread Cookies (Army Men)
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Ingredients: 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1½ teaspoon. baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1½ teaspoon ground cloves 2 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 16 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks) 1 cup sugar 1 cup molasses 1 large egg
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly powdered sugar work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate as desired.
We used the swirl method for mixing in the colors for the royal frosting. (Annie has a great tutorial that you should check out – it always helps!) I used wilton paste food coloring in moss green, brown, and taupe.
Review: These were sooo cute and very tasty and I loved the spice mixture – it definitely tasted like the holidays! However these were very time-consuming for one day’s work. Do yourself a big favor if you ever plan on making “decorated cookies” – plan ahead, and bake the cookies on one day. Decorate on the second day, and you will avoid the 12 hour baking day that we had. These cookies were so much fun to make! Here are some highlights from our baking day and the boxes that we sent to Afghanistan!
Check out all the cookies we had to pack…and we still had another large tray of gingerbread cookies that didn’t fit on my table!
The many boxes that we prepped out for them. We ran out of shipping boxes, but I had tons of Tupperware to fill the cookies. If you don’t ship cookies right away, freeze them until you do. After all was said and done – I felt like an overworked Elf packing all these cookies!!
A special thanks and shoutout to all my girlfriends and sisters who helped and donated cookies for the troops, too. Amanda, Angel, Arminda, Blanca, Brittany, Cameron, Caroline, Cynthia, Karen, Melody, Monica, Nora, Sasha and Viry. Veronica and I will be making this an annual event at my house, so be ready to bake up more treats next year!!
Day 4: Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies
Day 3: Shortbread Almond Cookies with Guava
Day 2: Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Day 1: Cookies in a Jar