Christmas came and flew and then New Year’s came and flew and in all the holiday festivities I didn’t get time to share my baking adventures with anyone. We’ve all spent the last month or so getting ready with the candy canes and the snowmen and lighting up those Christmas Trees. I haven’t been in a very festive mode lately, work has been stressful, too much happening on that front and I haven’t had any break from work to get some time to refuel. So, I’ve really spent the last one month counting every single day to when my holidays start. And now that I’ve taken it I’m a much happier camper. This holiday season I baked and decorated over a 100 cookies. I feel instead of getting better by the last cookie to decorate I was so exhausted I didn’t care what my Gingerbread men and Rudolph looked like!
My daughter has been going through this phase (I really do hope it’s a phase) where she wants me to regularly bake for her friends so she has something to take to school. It was nice the first few times but then she started demanding to scale to it up and give it to every single child in her class. I encourage sharing, and equality but this one’s breaking my back. Plus my younger one starts school in January and if I have to do this for both them, I’ll be beat!
From last years’ Snowman, Christmas Tree and Candy Cane’s, I thought I’d do something simpler so it’s just Gingerbread Men and Rudolph. I thought kids wouldn’t like Gingerbread, but I made a first batch and my kids had a go at it and loved it so I decided to keep the Ginger level high but not add any nutmeg and cloves to it, not much of a fan of it anyway. If you like, add a ¼ tsp of each, it takes spice level up. If you’re making this for kids, I’ve tried and tested this on 4 year and 3 year olds and they love it.
3 C flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground ginger powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
85g butter or ¾ stick
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ C dark molasses
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp meringue powder
Few tbsp water to get toothpaste thick consistency
- In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients and in a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients : egg, sugar and butter and then add molasses
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 portions until well incorporated and form into a dough ball
- Cut the dough balls into 2 equal sizes, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours at least
- Once the dough has set, pre heat oven to 190C or 375F
- Flatten one dough ball with your hand and then place between 2 cling films and roll out to a ¼ inch thick and start using the gingerbread man and gingerbread girl cutters. I use the gingerbread girl cutter, turn it upside down and it looks like a reindeer
- Place the cut cookies on a baking tray lined with wax paper and bake for 8mins if you want them soft and chewy and 11mins if you want them crispy. I find the crispy version better
- Let the cookies cool completely and decorate with royal icing
- For decorating, I use Wilton Tip 3 and Wilton Red (No Taste) for Rudolphs nose