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The Gingerbread Dunny Fiasco: Part 1

12.11.2007 @ 2:33 PM in Lifestream
I don't get how Jennifer does it with her house parties and cookie days. I'm a big ole homo and I can say one thing: domestic shit is hard. It didn't used to be that way, a long time ago in the safety of a country kitchen I could whip up a storm of confectionery delights, pies, cookies, cakes, whatever. Christmas was the season of diabeetus. Nowadays, I can hardly stand to eat a cookie, and I haven't baked anything since before 2006. This year I was determined to end it... and this is part one of what started as a simple homage to jennifer with a nice little domestic cookie post, and spiraled into so much more.

The plan

  • I picked up the Gingerman Dunny from Hero not too long ago and inside was this little teensy recipe for gingerbread cookies. I thought "thats kinda cool, I should make these cookies for real and shape them like dunny's."
  • Concept at hand I grabbed Angel by the ear and we skipped gayly to Tops, then to the Dollar store, then to Target, then back to Tops to get supplies. See, I haven't cooked or baked in so long I don't have any of those grande essentials like a mixer, a cookie tray, or even a rolling pin. I also found out that spices are expensive as hell, especially ginger.
  • Oops! Forgot last Friday that Block Party had a little shin-dig going and we were invited. Angel and I stashed the bags in his store and we made our way next door to mingle for a few. At that time, I realized that one of my intended recipients for the cookies has a gluten allergy. No worries, we headed to the Lexington and picked up gluten free rice flour. I was determined to make what sounded like a good thing: gluten free gingerbread cookies.

The First Try

ingredients_s.jpg [Heineken, baking soda, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, candy dots, Brobee, icing tips, organic molasses, red, white, and blue icing, ridiculously small recipe, rice flour, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, shortening, Labbit, Buffawhat]
  • All seemed well. I commenced to making the dough, and despite my initial forrowing at the recipe, I was going to play by its rules, save for the rice flour. Angel was around to yell at me for being messy, and to document the occasion. I was gonna have an AllThingsJennifer Post goddamit.
  • Cue the photos...
step1.jpg step2.jpg
  • After letting the dough chill for a few hours... we return and immediately notice a problem: its not very doughy. Oh well I say, thats 'cause of the rice flour. I make the best of it and toss a batch of misshapen dunnies in the oven.
  • Failure seems imminent as they melt into puddles of something, something unholy and dark.
  • bollocks. An immediate racking of the brain to solve failure pops with the realization that I missed one key ingredient in this new world of gluten-free baking: Xantham Gum. Not your conventional spice -- actually, not a spice at all, derived from fermentation of glucose -- xantham gum is what you use to substitute for gluten, which helps to hold everything together.
  • Oh well, I guess we won't have gluten-free ginger Dunny's then. It was a good try but I wanted them made; I decided to make them glutenous and the way God intended.

Second Fail, and first success.

Even after letting the second batch chill overnight, the same melted mess came out of the oven. A hard look at the recipe and a call to Mummra revealed that the card that came with the Dunny's was bogus. Not enough flour and shortening instead of butter made the batter too runny. The new recipe was 2 cups of flour, half a cup of molasses, stick of butter, with the rest of the ingredients staying the same (baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon). This was guaranteed to work..... (come back later tonight to see the read the rest of the story and see the finished products)