Gingerbread Cookie Girls
Today we did IT! We made gingerbread cookies all on our own with a mixing bowl, a metal spoon, some ingredients we already had, our very basic oven and very BIG hearts!
I HAD all the ingredients, as most of you might as well, including the molasses, which most probably would need. You see, LAST year, this mama had fully intended on making gingerbread men for Santa, but it was Christmas Eve night, and when I went to make the dough, I had failed to read it in advance to see that it needs at least four hours, or overnight, to chill! I was SO disappointed! The girls didn’t know any different, and last year didn’t remember to hold me to any plans, but I HAD planned, and I HAD to have cookies for Santa! I rushed out to one or two places to see about the pre-made Gingerbread dough stuff, but I couldn’t find it anywhere! I don’t even remember what Santa was treated to at this house last year. SORRY Santa! It might have been cookies gifted to us, gulp, OR, maybe a couple Oreos I found. How terrible for Santa! He didn’t seem to mind too terribly though, they were all gone Christmas morning. But STILL, we can’t be “the bad cookie house” this year!
These would be like fossils by the time Christmas comes this year, just thirteen days away now, but I wanted to make them this week with the girls. With school schedules, we rarely leave the house after lunch anymore. We had planned to have a classmate over with her little sister, but truth be told, these girls gave me such a hard time this morning, and the last couple of days, they got the privilege of a play date revoked. It was big disappointment to them, but hopefully sunk in some about consequences of actions. Fat chance probably, and I missed out on a friend visiting too, but really trying to simplify the season and if that means canceling plans for bad behavior, well then…
Can’t tell from these joyous little girls below during cookie making! We ALL had such a GREAT time doing this together! Although, in between some Instagram stories, one would poke the other, or some drama had ensued, I believe I threw Arlo into full on meltdown because I had placed her gingerbread man on the cookie sheet, but the fun was too good for her to stay fitting too long, and she’d go to her room, slam her door, kick the floor, and then resume gingerbread cookie making. School days are LONG and extremely tiring for them, especially Lo, I noticed, so a late afternoon baking sesh would presumably be low-key, but still flare ups happened. At least we were home. Comfy. And actually, thankfully did NOT have company to witness. I think this part- the rolling, cookie cutting, and baking should be done pre-party anyway, which I had planned to do. The play date was just going to be the decorating. We ended up having time to decorate today, as well as box and even deliver some to our good neighbors.
The recipe I used is below. I looked at three or four, by Googling “Easy Gingerbread Cookie Recipe,” and I browsed all of them. I added a tablespoon of vanilla, and about a half teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice spice. They actually turned out! and in HIGH altitude! I impressed myself! I have made gingerbread cookies before but they had turned out extremely hard before.
Here’s the recipe online I used from Taste of Home! (Thank you for sharing it!) I will say, my egg was straight from the fridge, cold, and also the amount of butter converts to a stick and a tablespoon, you’re welcome! ;) I also do not own an electric mixer and found that a good old fashion spoon and bowl worked just fine. I was SO worried about the dough last night. i admit! It was hard, and crumbly and DRY! I was not sure of it. I wrapped in plastic wrap in two large hunks. Today, when i took it out I was even MORE nervous than last night, because now it was HARD as heck and COLD- not able to roll for sure. And here i had the girls in aprons, on their stools ready to ROLL- literally! I read that adding a sprinkle or two of water at a time, would help. Water is the only thing that would not have an affect on the baking chemistry. It was still dry so I took it under the sink for a split second, about four tablespoons I am guessing. Then it turned incredibly STICKY! I was VERY scared at this point! The girls and I were laughing so hard! it was like CEMENT or glue all over my fingers I couldn’t get it off! I had to direct Remy to the cupboard for flour- STAT! I felt like a surgeon! She found it- good girl- and even put everything back, VERY good girl and I had her sprinkle bits in until I could roll the dough off my hands and work it into dough. It turned out beautifully! YEAH! We did it!
I gave a large ball to Rem and one to Lo on parchment paper- I only wished I had worked directly on the countertop with flour, OR taped down the paper because it kept moving. Other than that, the girls did an amazing job of rolling it out and cutting!!! Arlo was so impressed with herself! I LOVED seeing them work so happily! We had Christmas songs blaring, a couple windows open and a Christmas scented candle going, and the GINGER SMELL!!!! Ahhhh…. It was a very great afternoon.
When it came time to decorate, turns out I had a ton of sprinkles already as well! We did buy new sugar google eyes, some DOTS, (I hate Dots but I had a couple of these Christmas ones and they were actually not terrible), and we bought these mini M&M’s buttons too. We just used Vanilla frosting and large popsicle sticks to spread. I made the ones for the neighbor and teacher- a little lighter handed on the frosting than these two! I found cute cookie boxes at Joanne’s Craft Stores, and they were 60% off. I don’t usually bake, but we have delivered cookies on a plate with plastic before, so this time I thought the decorative box would be cute. I had round, gold Christmas seals to close up the boxes which added a pretty little touch.
The prettiest details of all were my little gingerbread girls in their pony tails with frosting and flour on their faces! I hope they remember this day! Adding this as a tradition I hope to continue with them. Who knows, maybe I’ll go nuts and add a new cookie recipe next year!
Oh, thought of something- if you don’t have these spices, and want to save some money, and won’t need a whole bottle of them, go to a grocer that sells spices in bulk- locally for us it could be Sprout’s. You can get baggies with smaller amounts for much cheaper.
Are any of you bakers out there? Feel free to share any DELICIOUS and EASY cookies or treat recipes in the comments for me! I’d love to try maybe one more this season!
…Ginger Glo (Ironically I HATE ginger but I like the cookies!)
Both of the girls are wearing thrifted aprons, but this pink kitty cat one from Amazon is only $12 and would make a cute gift with a little baking set like THIS one from Melissa & Doug (HOW CUTE!) Remy’s head band is Target and currently $1.75 :0!!!