a/n: This is pure spoof. No substance is intended nor should be expected.
1 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp. salt
1 ½ C. molasses
6 C. flour
1 ½ tbsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ C. granulated sugar
½ C. water
½ tsp. vanilla
5 lbs assorted candies
2 dozen meat buns
1 dozen apples
1 very large, freshly brewed pot of tea
Begin early in the day. Head into town to buy ingredients. Bring Goku along to carry purchases, and because he will tag along anyway. It is generally safe to buy such things as salt and flour early in the trip, and I don't believe he will ever make the mistake of swallowing an entire container of baking soda again, but hold off on the apples until he begins whining about hunger. Likewise with the candies and meat buns. Feed him an apple.
Place all the ingredients on the counter or table top where you'll be working. The butter may require some time to soften. If this is the case, set it in a warmer part of the kitchen while measuring out the remaining ingredients. Ensure that Goku has washed his hands. Do not allow him to measure anything. Feed him another apple. If this is not enough to keep him from trying to eat the brown sugar, feed him a third.
In a very large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and salt, and have Goku cream them together with a wooden spoon. Please note that the Nyou-i-bo is not a spoon, and that Goku will need instruction as to the culinary definition of "cream." Feed him another apple and a meat bun to ensure the ingredients remain in the bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together three eggs, the cinnamon, ginger and molasses. Ignore Gojyo. He can be distracting when one's hands are occupied. If the distraction gets to be too much, at least ensure that no cigarette ash winds up in this second bowl. Feed Goku another two meat buns to keep him from staring. Feed Gojyo one for good measure – the resulting fight should make the next couple steps a little easier.
Sift together the flour and the baking soda. When Gojyo and Goku's wrestling knocks the sifter to the floor and covers all three of you in flour, laugh at the inevitable, throw out the old flour, remeasure the ingredients and try again. At this point, it will become impossible to ration meat buns. The five minutes required to Gojyo and Goku to finish the remaining twenty buns should be just enough time to sift the flour.
Send Goku and Gojyo to wash their hands again. Bribe them with candies as needed. Ignore Gojyo's comments about sugar. Laughing will only encourage him. Pour the egg mixture over the butter mixture and stir carefully until combined. At this point, you may turn the bowl over to Goku to beat the mixture for two minutes or until completely smooth. Remember to instruct him as to the culinary definition of "beat." If you forget this last point, hand Goku a dustpan and sponge, and start over from step 2 while he cleans up.
As Goku stirs, gradually add the flour to the egg-butter mixture. The dough will become very stiff and hard to manipulate, but Goku enjoys a challenge. Hold the bowl for him, however, or you will need to repeat the last point of step six. Feed him another apple for a job well done, and while he is preoccupied, gather the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic.
This is perhaps the most difficult step. The dough must chill for a minimum of one hour (preferably three or more). Too keep Goku from eating it during this time, give him the rest of the apples and suggest that Sanzo might like one. Unless Sanzo is in the kitchen, this will likely prove an effective distraction. Beware of gunshots, however.
While Goku is distracted and the dough is chilling, whisk two egg-whites in an absolutely clean metal or ceramic bowl until stiff. Blend in the water, vanilla and granulated sugar, and wrap tightly with plastic (if air intrudes, you'll need to make another batch come time to decorate). Sit down and drink a relaxing cup or two of tea. Allow Gojyo to rub your shoulders – whisking egg whites is hard work, and denying him attention for too long is never a good idea.
When Goku returns, extricate yourself from Gojyo, apologize to Sanzo, feed Goku some candy, and preheat the oven to 350F. Place a piece of dough the size of two fists on a lightly floured surface, and allow Goku to roll it out (the Nyou-i-bo makes a surprisingly good rolling pin, when shrunk to a manageable size). Use cookie cutters to cut out men, and place them on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies for ten minutes or until just set. When the timer dings, get the hot pads, wait for Goku to scream and move out of the way, then retrieve the cookie sheet from the oven. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack while Gojyo shoves Goku's hands under water. Heal Goku's burns (if necessary), and repeat the relevant portions of steps ten and eleven until all the dough is baked. Allow Goku to eat the dough scraps – he will anyway. Make sure Sanzo has a fresh ash tray.
Scoop the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, and begin decorating the cookies with icing and any remaining candies. This can be a fun group activity with two provisos: 1) Do not let Gojyo decorate the gingerbread men unless you plan to hide them from company and explain them to Goku. 2) Do not let Goku decorate Sanzo.
This recipe can make up to forty gingerbread men, depending on size and how effectively you keep Goku from eating the dough. They make nice gifts and travel well. Would that the same could be said of my companions. Happy Holidays.