- 3/4 cup shortening
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups molasses
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 3-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Red, gold and brown paste food coloring
- 4 brown M&M's
- Pastry tips-round #7 and star #16
- In a bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a bowl, combine the molasses and water. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with molasses mixture. Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan lined with waxed paper. Bake at 325° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Remove waxed paper; cool completely.
- In a bowl, cream shortening, butter and vanilla. Beat in confectioners' sugar and milk. Place 1/2 cup of frosting each in two bowls. Tint one red and leave the other white. Place 1/4 cup frosting in another bowl; tint gold. Place 1 cup of frosting in another bowl; tint dark tan.
- Trace patterns onto waxed paper as directed and cut out. With a sharp knife, cut around patterns on gingerbread. Transfer cutouts onto a 16-in. x 11-in. covered board.
- With tan frosting, frost girl's head, upper torso and bottom edge and boy's head, arms and legs. With gold, frost boy's overalls and make a heart centered at girl's waistline. Frost hear skirt red.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert round tip. Fill with remaining red frosting. Pipe buttons on boy, bow on girl and smile on both.
- Prepare another bag; insert star tip and fill with white frosting. On both boy and girl, pipe a zigzag border at neckline and 1 in. from the tip of each arm. On the girl, pipe above and below the skirt and 1/4 in. from her feet. On the boy, pipe 1/4 in. from the top of his head, below shorts and 1/2 in. from the bottom of his feet. Insert M&M's for eyes. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Originally published as Gingerbread Boy and Girl Cakes in Country Woman November/December 1999, p55
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