Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sunday, May 26, 2024 81° Today's Paper

By Request

Baking gingerbread gives young ones the gift of time

Three days ’til Christmas. Still looking for a few gifts? I have an idea that can be pulled off in the limited window of opportunity remaining.

It’s meant to be given to parents of young children, and it offers one of the most precious gifts of the season: time. As in, you give some of yours and they get some to themselves.


If you’re interested in the collection of this year’s Top 5 "By Request" recipes, you have until New Year’s Eve to order.

You can have a set for a $5 donation to the Star-Advertiser’s Good Neighbor Fund, all of it going to the Community Clearinghouse to benefit local families in need. We’ve already raised close to $5,000 for the fund.

This year’s recipes: Nori’s Chocolate Mochi Cake, from Nori’s Saimin & Snacks in Hilo; Taro Rolls, buns made with poi, just like the ones from the bakery or the restaurant bread basket; Sparkled Ginger Cookies, full of holiday flavor but made without eggs or dairy products; Maui Chip-Crusted Fish, from the Kahala Hotel & Resort; and Slow-Cooker Lasagna, made with uncooked noodles and a little bit of magic.

To order: Send $5 per set to "By Request," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Include a legal-size stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund. Deadline to order is Dec. 31.

Larger donations are welcome, but be sure to indicate how many sets of recipes you want (for example, if you send $20, let me know whether you want four sets of recipes or just one, with the rest of your cash being a donation).

Basically you offer to bake with their kids. If you have your own children, just add a few extra to your baking day. If you don’t, or if yours are grown, a couple of hours with small ones will remind you of what pure fun the holidays can be.

The perfect project for this is gingerbread, which fills the house with holiday scents. Give each child a blob of dough on a piece of foil and let them work it like clay into cookies of any shape. They can decorate with raisins, chopped nuts, candy pieces, chocolate chips or sugar sprinkles. Put all the pieces on their foil backings on a cookie sheet and bake.

Let the kids keep what they make, minus a few for you.

Gingerbread Cookies

4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses, warmed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons warm water

Combine flour, spices and salt. In separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Beat in molasses. Dissolve baking soda in warm water and add, beating until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break off pieces of dough and form by hand into people, candy canes, wreaths, etc. Try to keep pieces 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick. Decorate as desired with nuts, dried fruit, candy pieces, etc. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until firm. Makes about 4 dozen, depending on size.

Nutritional information unavailable

E-mail recipe requests to bshimabukuro@staradvertiser.com.


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