Gingerbread Snowflakes

I have been so busy enjoying the holiday season that I haven’t even had time to post about it, so I’ll try to catch up now. My family’s annual sister baking day was another success (with the exception that we were one sister short). A week before Christmas, my oldest sister and I got together to whip up some festive treats. We’ve attempted some challenging (and time consuming) baking projects in the past, so this year we decided to keep it simple and traditional. Gingerbread was the obvious choice, and since we had to brave a snowstorm in order to make this happen, it was only appropriate that we make gingerbread snowflake cookies!

The dough came together really quickly and then had to be chilled for about an hour, so it was the perfect amount of downtime to throw on a little holiday music and grab a warm drink. Before long we had a heavenly, sweet aroma floating through the kitchen and there was still lots of time for the best part – decorating!

Gingerbread snowflakes - delicious and so much fun to make!

Gingerbread snowflakes – delicious and so much fun to make!

Gingerbread Cookies (adapted from Canadian Living)

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup fancy molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch salt

In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and molasses. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; stir into butter mixture until combined to form a thick dough.

Divide the dough into two flattened discs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill about 1 hour.

On a well-floured work surface, roll out dough to ¼ inch thick and cut with cookie cutter. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just beginning to firm. Be careful not to overbake as these cookies harden as they cool. Once cookies are cool, decorate as desired.

Royal Icing (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Food colouring (optional)

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat for 1 minute more until thick icing is formed. Tint with food colouring if using and decorate cookies as desired. We piped the icing onto the cookie and then immediately dipped the cookie in coarse sugar. Allow icing to dry completely before transferring cookies to airtight container.

These cookies are chewy and delicately spiced - so perfect for the Christmas season

These cookies are chewy and delicately spiced – so perfect for the Christmas season

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