Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhogs Day!

Groundhogs Day is special in our house.  Papa B has a hunting cabin outside of Punxsutawney, PA and it's where we got married.  We got married at the cabin and had our reception at the Pantal Hotel.  We've only managed to get to camp for Groundhogs Day once in our 10 years together, and we slept in too late to go to the festivities.  However, I did get to go once as a teenager.  My parents took me up and it was a ton of fun.

Ever since the year we went to Punxsy my family had a tradition of making groundhog shaped cookies.  The cookies are then placed on a scoop of vanilla ice cream (snowy mound) and drizzled with chocolate sauce (shadow).  My step mom was super awesome this year and sent us a package containing the groundhog cookies.   Peanut was very excited to open her package today and even more excited at the prospect of cookies and ice cream.  She even ate all of her dinner so she could have dessert.

Here's the recipe for the cookies.  It's a basic spice cookie recipe, but this one comes from the Punxsutawney Phil's Official Souvenir Shop!  Therefore it must be special! Right?!

Spicy Groundhog Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
Currants or Raisins
1 egg, slightly beaten

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together.  Set aside.  Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Blend in molasses and egg yolk.  Stir in flour mixture and mix well.  Form into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper.  Chill overnight.

For eas in rolling, work with small amounts of dough at a time, topped with wax paper.  Roll dough 1/8 inch thick.  Remove wax paper.  Cut out cookies with lightly floured cutter.  Place cookies on greased bakin sheet.  Brush with slightly beaten egg.  Decorate by giving each groundhog a currant or a raisin for an eye.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes in preheated 350-degree oven.

Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.  Makes 12 to 15 large groundhogs or 3 to 4 dozen small cookies.  Put cooled cookies in sealed container with a slice or 2 of bread to soften, if desired.

I'm sure at this point you are wondering where you can find groundhog cookie cutters.  Well, you can find them all over Punxsutawney! I'm sure you can also find them online.

Also in the care package was a pile of groundhog coloring pages and a new groundhog book!  My aunt said a few years ago, that she was going to find one and get it for Peanut.  It took her a while, but she didn't forget! (Though, I did) 

We read it at bed time tonight.  It was a really cute book.  The basic premis is that it's the first year Gretchen Groundhog has to go out to see her shadow and she's afraid.  I was a little disappointed she lived in the town of Picadilly, but that's probably because I am a bit biased.   I can't wait for this book to become part of the tradition too!

Happy Groundhogs Day!!!

(stay tuned for an easy Groundhogs day craft tomorrow)

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