Aye, lads, it’s chilly
But not as chilly as our boy Willie!
You see, he’s dead.
So goes an old family refrain. It comes out often during the winter, especially when someone remarks that “it’s a bit chilly.”
There’s a particular cadence, too:
Person 1: “Aye lads, it’s chilly.”
Person 2 (not in the least bit somber): “Not as chilly as our boy Willie.”
Everyone (in a cheerful chorus): “You see, he’s dead!“
We’ve lost the genesis of it, but Megh thinks there was a second refrain as well. “Something about being colder than a witch’s tit,” she says, but can’t remember more.
Genius Kitchen’s Spicy Gingerbread Cookies
- Use metal cookie sheets, not a baking stone. You’re going straight from the fridge to a nice hot oven. The stone will not survive the transfer.
- Use plenty of flour on your cutting surface.
- Cut the dough into pieces of about a third of the dough each, and only pull one of them out of the fridge at a time to roll out and cut.
- You are going to use so much plastic wrap with this recipe.
- Its totally worth it.
- To get the different colors of frosting, I usually get the biggest thing of vanilla frosting I can, and food color bits of it in sandwich bags. Cut off the tip of one corner and hey-presto decorating bags!
- 6 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 c softened butter
- 1 c brown sugar, packed
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 lg eggs
- 1 c unsulphated molasses
- Sift together the first three ingredients in a side bowl (not the one you plan on mixing everything in, you will regret that if you try)
- In a mixer with a big bowl, cream butter and sugar
- Add spices & salt, then eggs, then molasses
- Slowly add flour mixture (not kidding about the speed – try to do it fast, and the whole thing explodes into a powdery mess)
- Combine everything at low speed
- Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Put down parchment paper and flour it really well
- Roll to 1/8 inch thickness (WHO ACTUALLY DOES THAT? I usually do 1/4)
- Cut with cookie cutters, and place them on the cookie sheet
- Chill the sheet with the cookies on it for 15 min
- Go straight from the fridge to the oven
- Cook for 8-10 min
Cool completely before decorating.