Nothing says happy holidays like biting through the head of a gingerbread cookie.
This was my method of attack for the bag of four holiday gingerpeople from Prohibition Pastries. The Point Breeze bakery is known for the subtle incorporation of booze into every bake – whiskey cupcakes, barleywine bread, brownies with lavender bitters – and the gingerbread family is no different. There’s a touch of barely detectable brandy in the batter, pairing nicely with gingerbread’s signature spice blend.
When I bit down on the first and biggest member of the gingerbread family, I was pleasantly surprised; more often than not, I find the holiday cookie style to be overspiced and too crunchy. But Eliza Bowman, owner, and baker of the East End spot, has mastered the balance of flavor to crunch.
Bowman’s spice blend is first-rate. Not one element, whether the ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon, overpowers its companions. They’re seamless, one spice indistinguishable from the next. Holding to tradition, Bowman decorates her cookies with faces and buttons but keeps the dress minimal. The thin lines of icing add a subtle sweetness to the fiery gingerbread.
The texture is spot-on. There’s no crunch – something I despise in any cookie – instead, the finished cookie is soft (the heads break off almost instantly under the weight of their own batter).
One of Bowman’s gingerbread families will put you back four dollars, a small price to pay for biting their heads off.