Kid Friendly Gingerbread Cookies for Xmas

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This is an old family recipe that I have made slight alterations to over the years.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups molasses I use Grandma’s
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a saucepan combine molasses, brown sugar and spices and warm until all ingredients are melded together using moderate heat. Stir frequently and remove from heat. Stir in baking soda then stir in butter a few pieces at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Add beaten egg and stir until combined, then stir in flour and salt.

Remove dough from saucepan and place on a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with the remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to the surface or board until soft and easy to handle (approx. 1 minute). Cut the dough in half. Wrap the unused half in plastic wrap until ready to use keep all the dough at room temperature. This will help to keep it pliable.

Re-flour your work surface. Roll the first portion of dough to a little less than ¼ of an inch thickness, I find these easier to work with than the thinner versions. Choose your favorite gingerbread shape cookie cutter and go to town!!! If your dough gets too dry don’t panic, add a few droplets of warm water, it soon makes it pliable again. My four year old son and I favour simple shapes for the moment, snowflakes and hearts. Using a plastic straw, push it into the upper third of the cookie, to make a hole for your string or ribbon to fit through. Once cut out, place them on a lightly buttered baking sheet, sometimes a spatula works well for the transfer, and arrange them about 1 inch apart.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes- watch these guys carefully as they will burn quickly and suddenly. Transfer cookies to a plate to cool.

Re-roll all trimmings, re-cut and repeat.

Easy Icing

  • 3 1/2 cups of icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites whisked
  • Food coloring of your choice – my son always goes for the vivid crazy ones!
  • Mix them together until smooth and not runny.
  • Add additional icing sugar by the tablespoon if needed.
  • Icing should be a little stiff.

Place into sandwich bags and cut a small hole at the bottom. Pipe icing onto cookies. Use sparkly sugar and other confections to make them extra special.

Let your son or daughter show you just how amazingly creative they can be. I find that my son comes up with the most amazing combinations,that I would never think of doing, and makes the most beautiful things. Hence, the uber original colourful cookies in the picture. Mine are the boring white ones. If you have a colour theme then let your child choose between only the colours you are using but let them mix up the icing and even add the food colouring. Make sure they are on a child friendly non-staining surface and that they are allowed to get whatever they are wearing stained permanently because food colouring is not forgiving.

Once dry, run your favorite ribbon or string through the holes and hang on your tree.

When kids come over at Christmas you always have a fun and novel thing to offer them.

Enjoy and don’t forget to taste everything as you go and you will be a very popular a parent indeed!

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