Every Christmas break for the last four years has seen us put together a decorated gingerbread house. It was always a way to spend quality time with my kids and come up with a semi-artistical product that I could take pictures of and then eat. But this year, in addition to the gingerbread house kit purchased at Walmart, my fancy was struck by the gingerbread ninja cookie kit for sale cheaply at Aldi’s.
Because our cook-stove is gradually dying of electrical-baking-cancer, we had to move the cookie baking to my son’s apartment with a brand new oven and range. While gingerbread house kits come pre-baked and assembly-ready, gingerbread ninjas tested my limited cookie-baking skills. And believe me, though the Princess gamely tried to help, we did not bake ninjas like pros.
So, due to our negative levels of baking skill, the cookies came out looking not so much like dangerous ninjas as they did like seriously deformed mutants and bomb-blast victims. And it didn’t help that we could not make the white outliner frosting. It came in powder form and you were supposed to add powdered sugar and water to it. Powdered sugar was the one ingredient totally forgotten. Saving the beauty of artlessly-created cookies was left up to our skills applying cherry and chocolate frosting with butter knives and decorating with colored sugar beads. The cherry frosting made the cookie people into nudists rather than ninjas. And trying to make frowny faces with beads led to gingerbread men looking like they had multi-eyed spider heads instead of angry expressions. The chocolate ninjas turned out to look like forest-fire-blackened wilted Christmas trees. So, I ornamented most of them accordingly.
I had intended to end this article by interviewing one of the surviving chocolate-covered gingerbread ninjas. But when we started talking, he just got angrier and angrier about my lack of cookie-making skills. It started with insults and devolved into threats.
So, I ate him!