Can’t Catch Me, I’m the Gingerbread Man

As the song goes: It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! As the festive excitement of the season arises in all of us, teacher memories start to unfold with lingering, comforting smells of cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint, which we are infusing into the Yellow Room. Our hope is that the seasonal sensory smells that float through the hall of CLC yield lifetime memories for our Yellow Room children.

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without us baking a batch of ginger bread cookies, and for some of our children, it’s their first time to experience this sensory pleasure! This week, we plunged them right in: rolling dough with pins of all sizes, for hands of all sizes; helping them navigate how cookies cutters make magical ginger bread people; and last but not least, teaaching little fingers to squeeze out tasty icing eyes, noses, and buttons.

Marianne rolls out our gingerbread dough
Nova presses her cookie cutter!
Arthur squeezes out some icing buttons!

There are a number of wonderful gingerbread stories out there and this week, we read the Ginger Bread Friends by Jan Brett, which has a very friendly ending, perfect for our little ones, and the Ginger Bread Boy by Paul Galdone, which has amazing illustrations that the children love (with a fox-related ending that we chose to improvise on with a happier ending!)  At Outside Time we continued our theme, singing the verse, “Run, run as fast as you can, can’t catch, me I’m the gingerbread man,” while playing chase with each other around the playground! All in all a truly fun couple of Ginger Bread theme days!

Overheard little voices:

Penelope:  “I do that” referring to the squeezy icing bottles

Samantha:  “Buttons” as she pointed to the icing buttons on the finished cookie

Rina and Marianne:  “mmm, mmm, mmm,” as they took tastes of the gingerbread cookies!

This year, we made a gingerbread that is dariy, soy, gluten, and egg-free, which included flax seed meal, giving the dough an amazing texture for little fingers, and adding to the finished flavor. Here’s the recipes!

Gingerbread Cookies (from “Eating with Food Allergies“)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons hot water
1 tablespoon flax seed meal
3 tablespoons warm water
2 1/2 cups wheat free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the flax seed meal and 3 tablespoons warm water. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, molasses, oil and water. Add the flax seed and water mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add the dry mixture gradually to the wet mixture and mix well. Roll the dough into a ball, cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
  3. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface (I use rice flour). Using cookie cutters cut into desired shapes. Place cookies onto an ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 9-10 minutes in a preheated oven or until cookies are firm.

Makes about 1-1/2 dozen large cookies.

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