My second holiday post for this year: Gingerbread Gentlemen.
Every year at Christmas, ever since I started baking 4 years ago, I've been making my go-to Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookie recipe to share with friends and family. To keep things interesting, last year I started playing around with the appearance of my gingerbread men and made Gingy-bread Men (a la Shrek). This year, to mix things up, I stuck to royal icing and made Gingerbread Gentlemen.
They're one part Victorian men's fashion, one part Mr. Moneybags, and one part Mr. Peanut, which combines so many things I like: the 19th century*, board games, pop culture cartoons, fancy schmancy accessories (bow ties, top hats, monocles, and walking sticks**), and of course, mustached cookies. Win? You bet :P. They seemed to be many of my friends' favorite cookie out of all my holiday cookies.
**too bad there wasn't room for pocket squares and braces/suspenders
thick and chewy gingerbread recipe
royal icing recipe
Pre-Baking: Make the gingerbread cookie recipe as indicated in the linked post, using a person-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the dough and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Take a knife and cut a little bit off top of each dough man's head. From the dough scraps, use the knife to cut out thin rectangles slightly wider than the heads and narrower, tall rectangles to form the top hats. Place them above each dough man and then bake as indicated in the recipe.
Post-Baking: Immediately when you take the cookies out of the oven, use a toothpick to make a vertical indent on the hand and foot of one side of each cookie (like in the photo above). After leaving the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes, move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling before decorating.
Decorating Cookies: Make the royal icing from the linked post above or use a recipe of your own. On a piece of parchment paper, pipe lines of icing about the same length as the distance between the top edge of the cookie's hand and the bottom edge of the foot. Set aside to dry.
To ice the cookie, follow the illustration above: 1) hat band, 2) bow tie, 3) collar, 4) shirt, 5) jacket lapels, 6) cuffs, 7) monocle lens, 8) eye, 9) moustache, 10) monocle chain, 11) outline everything else.
Carefully pull the icing walking sticks off the parchment paper. Squeeze icing into the hand/foot indents left by the toothpick to act as glue. Place the walking sticks into the dents. Lastly, take the icing and pipe a round blob onto the top of each walking stick.