Gingerbread Cookies x2

These cookies make a regular appearance at Christmas. The lighter cookies taste cinnamon-y, somewhat like a Snickerdoodle, while the darker ones have more ginger and molasses. We can’t decide which recipe is the best, but since we only make these once a year, why not make them both? I have never met a child who of any age who did not adore decorating cookies. Unbridled artistic expression topped off with cookies for snack make a particularly memorable day.

GINGERBREAD MEN (the lighter cookie)


1 C. butter, softened    

1 1/2 C. sugar   

1 egg    

1 Tbs. molasses   

1 1/2 C. cake flour   

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cloves


Cream butter and sugar, add egg and molasses. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients into butter and blend together well. Chill 1 hour. Roll out and cut into gingerbread men. Bake at 375° approximately 8-10 min. depending on size. They should just begin to brown around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to the rack.



GINGERBREAD BABY (the darker cookie)


In large bowl, sift together:   

 3 C. Flour    

1/4 tsp. Salt   

1 Tbs. baking soda   

1 Tbs. Ginger    

1  tsp. Cinnamon    

1/4 tsp. ground cloves   

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg   


Cream together:

1 1/2 sticks butter

3/4 C. brown sugar

1 egg


Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Then add:

1/2 C. molasses

1 Tbs. vanilla


Chill dough 2 hours. Roll 1/4” thick and cut out. Bake at 375° for 7-10 min.



I found the second recipe on Jann Brett’s website and highly recommend you check that out. There is a book that goes along with it, which I am sure you can find at the library, as well as many other activities for children. This is the book where the boy opens the oven to peek at the gingerbread baby and it jumps out and runs away. You do have to keep a close eye on these kinds of cookies.  (In picture below: Grace, David, Paul 2002)           





Now you need to decorate with royal icing and the candies and dried fruits of your choice. We usually have red hots, small candy canes, broken candy cane “crumbs”, currants or raisins, chocolate chips, vanilla chips, Christmas sprinkles, and whatever else seems like a good idea. 


You can find the Meringue Powder on the cake decorating aisle in stores such as Wal-mart, Jo-Ann’s, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby. I divide all the icing into the plastic icing sleeves you can get from the same place you got the Meringue Powder. Don’t bother using a tip, just cut a small hole in the end of the bag so when you are finished you can throw it all away and not have to dig the tip out of the icing. To prevent icing from being squeezed out the top of the bag while little decorators are concentrating on the other end, I twist the top and secure it with a clothespin. I find that a muffin tin makes a handy container for all the decorations and keeps sticky hands out of the original containers. 


ROYAL ICING

makes 3 cups which will be just enough if you are doing this with children. 


3 level teaspoons of Meringue Powder

1 lb. powdered sugar, no need to sift

5-6 Tbs. lukewarm water

1 tsp. flavoring (optional) We used peppermint extract.


Make sure bowl and all utensils are grease free. Mix sugar and meringue powder at low speed to blend. Add water and mix at low-medium speed 7-10 minutes, until icing loses its sheen. The texture should be just like toothpaste. To prevent drying, which happens quickly, keep bowl covered with a damp cloth while working. Also, cover tips of icing bags with damp cloth when not in use. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks. To be really safe, cover with saran wrap first, then a lid. Put the saran wrap directly on top of leftover icing to keep air off. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. To reuse, beat on low to restore original texture. 


© Being Fruitful, 2012