There’s been this thing that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I went on a slightly obsessive internet search. I found the perfect thing I needed. I ordered it even though it seemed expensive for what it was. It got here. I decided not to open the box until I was ready to use it to make sure it didn’t get hurt. And that was 6 months ago.
I know. I am so awesome at procrastination that if there were an award for it I could win it if I could get myself to apply for it. Or whatever.
So, Christmas was finally the right time to use my little toy. After all, everybody (well, most people anyway) like gingerbread cookies. I’ve never actually made the cut-out variety. I love making nice cakey loaves of gingerbread and crispy spicy ginger snaps, and I’ve had the cutouts to make a house for so long that it would be a historically significant property if I ever did make one. But somehow, gingerbread men have been outside my repertoire.
Not this year, though. This year there would be gingerbread cookies coming from our kitchen. But not gingerbread men. Oh no, that would be much to simple and normal and sane for us. No, for us there was only one real option. And besides, we had lard.
That’s right. Gingerbread Piggies!!!!!
And what’s the point of a pig if you don’t know what to do with it? So we included – Paul would like to point out that it was my idea and that I was the one with the toothpick* (I called it my pig stick. I know.) — a handy butcher’s diagram on our pigs. Paul said that was okay until I made eyes. Then it was disturbing. Still, the piggies happened. A lot of piggies happened.
These were truly a family project, as were all of our Christmas yummies, thanks to the sugar rush from the case of Tahitian Treat we found at Lit. Paul rolled the dough, cut them out, and got them on the Silpat. I drew on them. Patric acted as quality control on both the raw dough and the finished cookies. (I know none of use were supposed to eat raw dough or we would die from salmonella, but I’ve been a batter and dough eater ever since I could reach the edge of the counter, and I’m still very much alive. And we just like living on the edge like that anyway.)
I will admit that I had planned to outline the diagrams with royal icing. I even got the boys to help (i.e. whisk like their lives depended on it) with making a batch. I broke out the piping bag with my tiniest tip and went to work. And it might have worked on bigger piggies, but on these little guys it came out looking like they were wearing little icing saddles. Which pretty much defeated the point. But at least Patric got to see the wonderfully annoying fast drying properties of royal icing. So there was that.
*This may have seemed like an exercise in insanity, but I would like to point out that this was very very sane if you pull my mother into the equation. She once hand-cut sugar cookies into Nativity scene figures and painted them with multiple colors of royal icing. With toothpicks. And she made enough that they decorated our Christmas tree that year and went into gift bags. There are pictures to prove it. I ate the ones I could reach. I’m sure you had already guessed that. So maybe it is insane, but it’s genetic so that’s different.