The smell of Christmas

Posted on December 20, 2005 by Aun

S and I love gingerbread. Nothing quite smells so much like Christmas as the smell of a batch of gingerbread cookies baking away in the oven. S likes hers naked. I prefer mine with icing. For me, it’s the combination of the sweet sugary icing and the rich, spicy cookie that makes my mouth water. S, never one for frills, argues that a well-made gingerbread cookie should be able to hold its own without any sweet adornment. For her, a good gingerbread cookie is about the texture and the interplay of various spices that meld together in one magical mouthful.

Of course, this kind of dispute between us is hardly new. I like my (fruit) pies served up hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side; a good pie to S doesn’t need any kind of accompaniment, other than good conversation. I like topping a salad with a hard-boiled egg and some bacon bits; a salad to her is first and foremost about the fresh vegetables, whose taste doesn’t need to be masked by additional ingredients.

S made up the pictured batch of gingerbread cookies recently, following a recipe from Baking Illustrated, from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. As expected, she refused to decorate them and I was, at the time, too busy (making something else in the kitchen) to make a batch of icing and do it myself. Nonetheless, they were delicious, with a good crunch on the surface and a slightly chewy center (the way I like it).

Anyway, I’m writing all this partly because of an email from a friend who also happens to be a major foodie and an ex-Wine & Dine magazine writer. F sent S and I the below flyer this morning:

GingerBells.
A couple of my friends and I will be selling gingerbread men and gingerbread houses with separate accessories so that you can decorate and customise your purchases as Christmas gifts for friends (or use em’ as a family bonding activity). We’ll also be conducting gingerbread house decoration demostrations, as well as a children’s corner for the young ones to decorate their very own gingerbread men on the spot. Ready-made Christmas cookies in snowflake and Christmas tree shapes are also available.

Christmas @ Katong
Christmas bazaar with food, games and merchandise stalls
22nd and 23rd Dec (Thu & Fri)
10am to 10pm
Area outside Odeon Katong. For a map, please click on the link below:
http://www.cscc.org.sg/cornerstone/contactus/contactus.htm

I have no doubt that F’s cookies will be fabulous. So, if you love gingerbread but don’t quite feel like slaving over a hot oven, here’s the perfect place and time for you to stock up. I especially like the DIY nature of what she’s doing. It means that I can decorate the ones I buy to my heart’s content while S can happily tuck into her own, most likely, naked ones.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. J December 20, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    hi, those look delicious. and that pooch kinda looks like alix! have set of cutters (think same one with the star, bear, boy etc)with what looks like a miniature dachshund – can’t decide on type of cookie to make with it

  2. B Esq December 20, 2005 at 1:27 pm

    Doggie cookies, but of course.

  3. Michèle December 20, 2005 at 9:45 pm

    Hi, the cookies look fabulous and of course your description of them makes me wish I had some baking in an oven right now. S sounds like a woman after my own heart with her resistance to adornments, although I must admit I would never say no to bacon bits on my salad. :)

  4. n.... December 21, 2005 at 12:41 am

    Would you like to share the recipe? I am looking to bake some gingerbread cookies for the first time ever for xmas.

  5. Vivilicious December 22, 2005 at 6:31 am

    Hiya CH, those cookies look great. Nothing like a few nice cutters to make scrummy goodies even more appetising. I made Petits Pains Flamands Epicés (kind of like Speculoos) to give as gifts. And I love the DIY gingerbread idea. Too bad I’m not in Singers!

  6. Culinarily Obsessed December 22, 2005 at 12:43 pm

    Yummy, the cookies look fabulous! I’m with you, I prefer my cookies with either icing/glaze or topped with sugar. But I of course won’t complain if they’re just plain. =)

  7. tara December 22, 2005 at 11:12 pm

    What lovely looking cookies. I cannot say which camp I reside in on this debate, though I’ll agree with Michele and say that crispy lardons have a place on my salad! For gingerbread though, there is something to say for the unadorned elegance of a well made cookie, but who can resist the mirth and charm of a fully bedecked little Gingerbread Man come this season?

  8. shaz December 24, 2005 at 5:23 am

    nice blog. never knew that there were so many foodie blogs.

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