Homemade Gingerbread Cookies
Hands down my favorite Christmas cookie is a fresh baked gingerbread. I love the warm, spicy sweetness. Plus, you can decorate them. Of course, for me, it’s not real gingerbread if it doesn’t have molasses. Molasses add a flavor that you just can achieve with sugar alone. Try this tasty recipe and enjoy.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger (here, I like to use fresh, about a 1″ segment, more if you like. If you’re really good with a knife, you can chop it into really fine bits; otherwise, just a garlic press works too.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water, molasses and ginger (only if you use fresh). Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls (if you like, you can rolls the cookies in table sugar). Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and flatten slightly.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat all right away with a cup of hot apple cider or a Brandy Alexander, whatever makes you feel festive.
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Ankh’s hand is hot in mine and, for the love of all things holy, I can’t take my eyes off this monstrosity of a bed that seems tailor made to mock me with it’s hugeness. Now is so not the time for the ideas popping into my mind.
How many times, I can’t even count, have I imagined just such a scenario. Me and Ankh alone in a room like this; of course, in my mind, it never played out quite this way. With everything that’s happened in the last twenty-four hours, the last thing Ankh needs is for me to go all hound-dog on her. The truth of that thought gives me the strength to tear my eyes from the bed. I look to Ankh, but she’s gone and I never even heard her leave. Color me red.
All at once, the last thirty-six hours catch up with me and I’m suddenly so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone stay on my feet. My knees buckle and I slump, congratulating myself when I hit the floor and not the bed because I’m slathered with river muck and I don’t want to get the sheets dirty.
The shower goes on and all I can think about is my turn. I reek and, despite the heat in the room, I can’t get warm. I’ve never wanted a shower so badly in my life.
Above my head, the scarf Ankh found sways and I reach for it mostly in an attempt to make the pink and navy flowers to cease their migraine inducing movement. It flutters down onto my face and I grab it and hold it up to the light. I don’t know what I hope to discover, since my mind is so foggy I’m damn near hallucinating, but I peer at it like I’m searching for a watermark, like maybe I can prove it’s counterfeit.
It’s dirty, like it was laying on that island for days, but otherwise, in one piece and no doubt it’s Ankh’s mom’s. It looks exactly like the scarves she wears every time I see her; wrapped around her long, dark hair—the same as Ankh’s—like a headband. I’ve probably seen this one before.
There’s no blood or anything else that suggests a struggle. Ms. Murphy could have just as easily have dropped it unknowingly, except for the fact that we found it on an island, in the middle of a river, a thousand miles from home.
I twist it around my hand wondering—and not for the first time—what I’ve signed up for. The whole chase scene in Pilgrim’s Creek was nuts, but everything since last night has only upped the crazy-ante and all I want to do is slam on the brakes.
Thoughts swirl around and around in my head until there’s this massive pain right in the middle of my forehead, right between my eyebrows; at the very spot that makes me think of lobotomies, which right about now don’t seem like that bad of an idea. I’m so deep in my head I don’t even hear the shower go off.
The door opens and Ankh walks out wearing Bret chic, the bedtime edition, which means black leggings and an oversized black tank top. I never would have guessed it, but Bret’s Goth-biker, mash-up look actually works on Ankh. She’s tiny, delicate even, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have curves and Bret’s clothes hit her in all the right spots. The showstopper, though, is definitely the hair.
This is the first time in two years I’ve ever seen her hair down. I always knew it was long–even in a ponytail it reaches halfway down her back–but I never guessed it would look like this, swinging down to her waist, falling over her shoulders, sexy bed-head times ten thousand. She looks like some kind of badass biker chick. It’s hot and I’m gawking and I can’t stop and I kind of don’t want to. My fingers twitch. I want to touch it, bury myself in it, in her.
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