The children are all sat around the table, sticky fingers, brows furrowed in concentration. The warmth of the kitchen is scented with aromatic spices and accompanied by the cheerful blare of Christmas music.
Nothing says Christmas better than making gingerbread cookies, decorating them and hanging them on the Christmas tree.
The kids, including myself, had an awesome time.
Just one note. The recipe said “makes 120 small cookies”. We didn’t get that many.
Casualty: 1 large lump of cookie dough, mysterious disappeared: minus 30
Casualty: Large cookies instead of small: minus 20
Casualty: Poor broken cookies: minus 10
Casualty: Missing during decoration. me: Sebastian where is your elf’s head and his arm? “My eating it” (points to mouth to illustrate): minus 10
Final Decorated Cookie Count: 27 (3 Christmas elves, 5 Christmas wreathes, 10 stars, 5 Christmas dinosaurs, 1 heart, 1 tiny angel, 1 giant teddy, 1 Christmas fox that looks like a blob.)
Ingredients of Gingerbread Cookies
- 3 cups (400 g) plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup (225g) butter
- 1 cup (200g) sugar (half caster and half brown)
- 2 eggs, beaten
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies
You need to make the dough and put it in the fridge to cool down before you roll it out.
- Sift flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl.
- Melt the butter and sugars in a saucepan. Mix and allow to cool.
- Add the eggs to the saucepan.
- Mix the contents of the saucepan into the flour. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Mix until a lump of dough.
- Put into the fridge to cool down.
Rolling out the Gingerbread Cookies
The dough will be really hard to start with but as it heats up it will get softer. It can be a bit tricky for the kids to roll out when it’s hard. Mine needed some help getting started. I had to do it for the younger ones. As the dough gets warmer, it makes it more difficult to cut the shapes and get them on the baking tray.
We had some cookie cutters and raided the play doh box for some others. Hence the Christmas dinosaurs, Christmas foxes and Christmas blobs.
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F
- Divide between the number of children you have and roll out on a floured surface to about 3 mm thick.
- Cut your beautiful biscuits and place on baking tray which is either oiled. I prefer a silicone mat as I’m lazy.
- Bake each tray for 10 minutes. (If you’ve make the biscuits thicker or made a Christmas Whale, they will need a few minutes longer.)
If you want to hang them on the tree, make a little hole in them when they come out of the oven. Large enough to thread a ribbon or thread through.
Decorating the Christmas Ginger Cookies
We mixed up some icing sugar with a little water (I think I added a bit much, it was quite runny.) We added some food dye for different colours. You could also add some lemon juice if you wanted to flavour it.
I put out some sprinkly things and the children sat and painted and stuck on the bits and bobs.
I did notice that the slightly cracked biscuits absorbed the icing really quickly rather than it sitting on top.
We dusted them with edible glitter and left them to dry overnight.
The next day we put our loops on and hung them on the tree.
They are so tasty! Every time I walk past the tree I get a waft of sugar and spice. I have no idea how long they will remain fresh. I don’t suppose they will be given a chance to find out.
Casualty: “Helping” to put on loops: minus 4
Casualty: 2 more elves heads fell off: minus 2
Casualty: Christmas tree decorating: minus 8
Total number on tree: 13
Looks like we’ll have to make another batch next weekend.
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