For the last 25 years mom has made these cute gingerbread men for Christmas. She just sells them to friends and family but has made up to 500 dozen of the little ones (yes, that 5,000-7,000 gingerbread men) in November and December. She packages them by the dozen in cellophane bags tied with a piece of red curly ribbon.
A few years ago she came up with the big ones (at the top). They are about 12 inches tall and the kids just loved them. She gives one to each of the grandkids each Thanksgiving and most of it’s gone by the next morning! LOL
The best part is that they taste even better than they look! She found a great recipe years ago in an old cookbook and has used it ever since. (Sorry, we can’t give it out. When we are done with the book business we will go into the gingerbread men business. :-)
I thought I would share a picture since everyone is always asking about them.
Jill, your gingerbread men are so cute, and I bet they taste wonderful too. I love to bake, so I have thought that if in dire straits, I would try to sell my delcious banana bread. I know that some women around here are baking to supplement their income.
Grizzly Bear MOm
When I make cookies with chocolate chips and nuts (or meat based dishes) I use 1/2 as much of the expensive ingredients. They still taste great but are less expensive and healthier.
Funny story: when I was stationed in overseas the only thing I wanted for Christmas was Mom’s Vienna (cream cheese dough) tarts. Unfortunately they sent our presents to Egypt by mistake so it took a long time for us to receive our gifts. When I finally received assurance of my mom’s love for me, I ran home with the package, and in the privacy of my room opened it up. Inside was a cool whip bowl that I knew my mom had loving packed with Vienna tarts. When I opened the bowl I wondered “Why did Mom use green powered sugar on the tarts?”, and placed one in my mouth. About a second later (and before I had time to actually taste the tart) I realized that the green powered sugar was mold. With great sorrow, I spit Mom’s love gift into the nearest trash can. With great regret, the entire cool whip bowl of cookies followed immediately thereafter. Thirty years later I still wonder if I should have kept the cool whip bowl as a memento of my Mom’s love for me my first Christmas away from home, and on the other side of the world.
Please consider sending love offerings to the troops overseas and others far from home.
I have a question, how much do you charge for a dozen?? and do you sell them as a dozen or per cookie, just curious?
I used to make large gingerbread men like these and sell them at our church bazaar each fall. I would cut pieces of cardboard to size, lay the cookie on it and then wrap it all in plastic wrap tied with a ribbon. They were always a hit! And my daughter and I had a ball decorating them and making each one different.
I bake alot of cookies for Christmas to give as gifts, and store them in tins. Sometimes, they get start to get hard or stale. If you put a slice (or two) of white bread in with the cookies, it makes them soft again.
Crystal I sell the small ones by the dozen and the large ones individually mostly because I was having a hard time pricing them individually. I felt $.50 was too high but $.25 was too little so it was better to sell by the dozen because my customers got a better deal and I didn’t lose money on them.
I have charged different prices because the prices of my ingredients change but generally I sell the large ones for $5 and $4 per dozen small ones to people in town because they usually pick them up unless they have large orders.
I then charge out of towners or people I have to ship to $7.50 for the large and $5 for the small because I don’t have the packaging to ship them yet and it takes a bit more work. I really try not to ship too often because I can’t guarantee they will get there in one piece and would feel bad it they arrived all broken.
Grizzly Bear Mom, I loved your story. With my dad being a retired service man I know just what you are talking about. When we were overseas we received some strange looking things from my grandmothers.
We once received a jar of Tang. Since there had not been anything like it on the market when we left the states we weren’t sure what it was but we were excited about it.
We read the instructions on the jar and put a 2 Tbsps. in a glass of water and stirred and stirred and stirred but it wouldn’t mix up. Come to find out it wasn’t Tang at all. My grandma had just used a Tang jar to send us some jelly she had canned.
You are right about sending love offerings and packages to our troops and others. We would live for those boxes from “home”.
With regards to “Cooking Up Some Dough” .. .. .. I am MIGHTY curious to know how to get around health department regulations for operating a cooking business from your home – that was a major stumbling block that Paula Deen mentioned in her book.
Alas….I shall have to wait to find out; the price of the ebook is not in my budget.
Health dept. regulations aren’t always as much of a problem as most people assume. Of course different areas have different regulations but where I am if you sale what is called “non toxic” foods your have very few restrictions.
When I first heard the word non toxic I thought who would sale toxic foods? But what that refers too are foods which spoil easily like meats, potato salads etc. Cookies, candies and baked goods have a good shelf life and don’t spoil easily.
Where I am if I sale out of my home I have no regulations at all. If I sale at places like craft shows or “peddle” my things I only need to just buy a license for $50 a month which could be easily taken out of my profits.
Even then I have no health department restrictions. You need to check your own personal area. I too thought for a long time I could not sale things because of these awful restrictions I had heard about but when I made a couple of simple phone calls I found out there were no obstacles.
In Paula Deen’s case if I remember right she was selling things like sandwiches, mayo based salads etc.so she may have had more restrictions.
Please don’t just assume you can’t do something. If you are serious or as desperate as I was you will find out what you need to do. Where there is a will there is a way. Even if you are selling “toxic’ foods you can find ways like asking if you can use your church kitchen or some place like that.
You can use church, daycare or senior centers to do the cooking if you state doesn’t allow it to be done in the home. Tawra
Jill, Thanks for sharing the picture of your gingerbread cookies. They are so sweet looking. They brought a smile to my face, and I bet they “pick-up” the spirits of whoever is lucky enough to receive one.
Jill, I love gingerbread houses and cookies, and I borrowed a video from the library on how to make gingerbread houses. There is a website at www.gingerbreadland.com that you might like to check out because you are also a “Gingerbread Lady.”
All – I have bought these gingerbread men, and they are prettier and taste better than anything I have ever seen in a store. I urge people to buy them they are wonderful!
Kathy you have my curiosity up. Which Kathy are you who buys my gingerbread men. I have about 5 Kathy’s. Do you come to my house to pick them up or have you gotten them from someone else. What a small world that you are on the the blog and thank you so much for the compliment.
I thought you might like this Gingerbread Bread recipe, also called Piernik(Makes 2 loaves)
1 cup dark honey
1 cup strong coffee
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups flour
In a small saucepan, combine honey, coffee, butter and spices. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let cool to warm. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar and baking powder. Slowly add the warm liquid, beating constantly at low speed. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the loaf pans and bake 45-50 minutes. Let breads cool for 15 minutes. Can be dusted with confectioners sugar or glazed or drizzled with melted chocolate.
We love gingerbread in our family Bea so will have to try this recipe. May have to do it after Christmas but I make gingerbread all winter long.
I hope you make the bread Jill. It is a Polish recipe. I love gingerbread year round too.
Also, I forgot to add that chocolate is added on gingerbread goodies in Poland a lot, and it’s a yummy combination.
Your recipe sounds yummy. What is dark honey? I don’t think I know-is it like molasses? Thanks!
If I can get down your way in the next month I’d really like to buy several dozen from you. I’ll try to work it out. I think my son and family are coming up to K.C. for Christmas. At least I hope so. My mom is turning 80 and had a stroke last Feb. She’s doing fine, but would not handle being cooped up for very long with three little ankle biters at my son’s house. I still have special friends I go to see in the area-primarily Wellington. The weather will be the only thing I can’t control! Just don’t sell them all, OK???:)!!!
That’s fine Barb. I will e mail you with more info.
Your Gingerbread men are just too cute! You’ve got an artist’s touch!
Barb, Dark honey is usually Fall honey. The taste and color of honey is based on the flowers the bees get the nectar from, like wildflowers, clover etc. Dark honey is also good to fight coughs, and has other health benefits. I usually get my dark honey in the Fall from farmers I know at Church, or at a farmers market. It’s not as strong flavored as molasses though.
Bea if we can’t find dark honey (I haven’t ever heard of it either) do you think we could substitute dark corn syrup or maybe molasses?
buckwheat honey is also a very dark strong flavoured honey. It is more expensive than regular honey.
Jill, I think either dark corn syrup or molasses would work fine. I once made a recipe of gingerbread cake where I mixed 1/2 cup light honey to 1/2 cup molasses to soften the taste of molasses for people that don’t like too much molasses flavor. I read that as a hint in a cookbook and it worked fine. So you might want to try that. I’m sure light honey would work fine too. It’s just that dark honey has a slightly stronger taste. It doesn’t affect the quality of the bread if you use the lighter honey.
Is the recipe somewhere. I love tried and true recipes.
Sandy I share all of my recipes with everyone but this is one recipe I’m afraid I keep because it has some unusual ingredients in it that make them taste like no other gingerbread men and if I ever decide to make a full fledged business out of it some day I need to keep it a secret. I have been trying to find a good recipe other then mine to share with our readers because I get asked for it all the time but just haven’t found one yet.
Did you publish the ginger bread man recipe in your cookbook or do you have the recipe posted ? Thanks Linda Brown
No Linda. I am sorry but my gingerbread man recipe is the only recipe of mine that we don’t share because I do sell them sometimes and have thought about making a business baking them some day maybe so have kept the recipe a “secret” :) It is very different than most gingerbread men recipes as a matter of fact I have never seen one like it so that is why I thought I could make a business with it some day and everyone seems to really love it.
Hi Jill – Any chance you sell and ship the gingerbread men cookies out of town? I heard you and Tawra mention them the other day on the show.
Susan I would really love to be able to do that and Tawra and I have been trying to figure out a way but the problem is how to ship them with out getting crushed and the frosting all messed up. It would also cost more to ship them then the cookies themselves cost. We are still trying to work it out but not sure we will be able to yet. The couple of times I did try packing them I spent 45 mins just packing them so it is also time consuming.