Once upon a time, Ethel the gingerbread woman lived with her gingerbread husband, Lester, in a small gingerbread house on the outskirts of Ginger Village. In most gingerbread families, the husband took care of the baking and childrearing, and Ethel and Lester were no exception. While Ethel went off to the bakery each morning, Lester raised three cheerful, plump gingerbread children named Bert, Harold, and Ginger the Fourth, all the while baking up a storm and filling their house with the scents of candy, chocolate, and cinnamon. On weekends Ethel and Lester would gather the kids and spend hours decorating, gluing the orange drops and rum-filled raisins that Lester had spent all week slaving over onto fresh icing around the windowpanes and shutters.
One day, Ethel heard a knock on the door while she was getting ready for work. Lester had his hands full with a tray of marshmallows he was aiming to fix onto the chimney to simulate puffy white smoke clouds, so Ethel opened the door. There she beheld a pale, blue-speckled figure standing on her porch, oozing some kind of pungent slime onto the gingersnap beams.
“Can I help you?” asked Ethel hesitantly, glad for the moment that she had no nose.
“Ha ha!” chortled the odd figure. “I’m the stinky cheese man! I’ve come to invade your story!”
“Who’s the stinky cheese man?” asked Ethel, befuddled.
The stinky cheese man looked put out, and placed his dripping hands on his hips. “You can’t be serious, woman. No one alive hasn’t heard of the stinky cheese man!”
“Well, I haven’t, and neither has my husband. Yoo-hoo, Lester!”
Lester came over, covered in marshmallows. “Yes, honey?”
“Do you recognize this man?”
Lester stepped back, affronted. “No, I’ve never seen him before in my life! He doesn’t look like anyone from Ginger Village, that’s for sure.”
The stinky cheese man threw his cheesy hands up in the air. “For your information, I’m in a much cooler story than this. It’s way funnier.”
“I’m sure it is. We’re happy in our story, thank you very much,” said Ethel.
“Anyway,” said Lester. “What was it we could help you with, good sir?”
The stinky cheese man balled up a handful of stinky cheese and threw it at Lester’s shirt. “Ha! Take that!”
The stinky cheese man darted away, yelling behind him, “I’m the stinky cheese man! If you can’t catch me, no one can!”
Mr. and Mrs. Gingerbread watched from the porch as the stinky cheese man ran off in a zigzag, shouting the refrain and leaving a trail of bluish goo behind him.
“What a strange character,” said Ethel.
“I’ll say,” said Lester. “Whelp, back to baking.” And with that, they returned inside to the aroma of freshly grated nutmeg and some newly minted bricks of Turkish delight.
- ¾ c tigernut flour
- 1 c cassava flour
- ½ c tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tb ground cinnamon
- 2-3 tsps ground ginger
- 1 tsp each of ground cloves & nutmeg (sub mace for AIP)
- 1 tb grassfed gelatin
- ¾ c ghee (AIP re-intro) or coconut oil (V)
- 1 tb vanilla
- ⅓ c blackstrap molasses
- 2-3 tb maple syrup or honey (to taste)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tb coconut cream or 4 tb solid cream from chilled coconut milk
- 2 tb honey
- 2 tb tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine dry ingredients (first 9), whisking until well-mixed.
- Add wet ingredients (last 5, in order) and mix well. You should have a dark, pliable dough that is not too sticky or too dry.
- Roll out on a (tapioca/arrowroot-) floured piece of parchment paper. Cut out gingerbread shapes as desired.
- Place shapes on parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for ~12 minutes, until slightly browned and firm in the middle.
- While baking, prepare/mix glaze ingredients.
- Once cookies have cooled, decorate at will! Give buttons! Make pants! Go nuts, basically.
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP Roundtable.