Christmas Gingerbread

blog gingerbread

It feels only yesterday in long nightgowns with Christmas carols filling the air, we would spoon up sugar and icing making a magical world of food to eat, to share.  The table was transformed from browns and creams to yellow, red green, white…textures and colors like twinkling lights. We would sing and laugh and dance the beauty of the season capturing every part of us.  And we would name the ones we were to bless, cookie plates filled to the brim with love, and simple messages of the birth of the Christ child.  Then come morning we would bundle in boots and scarves with gloves and coats and through the snow drifts travel door to door arms brimming in sugary treats.  Traditions are the seams that hold the patchwork of our lives together.  So we grow and we leave (and cleave) and bear our own and pass down love through the generations.  Christmas, besides the lights and crèche, trees and stockings, is cookies!  This recipe reminisces my childhood and a recipe we have come to love here in our home.  To tell you just how many we have made (and enjoyed) this season would be difficult to count, but I do know the molasses has disappeared! So grab your kids, or friends and family, and begin to make some memories.

Gingerbread Cookies

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

Mix the flour and spices in a bowl. Cream sugar, egg, molasses and shortening in bowl.  Add flour and spices and mix until combined.  Roll out on lightly floured surface until a quarter of and inch thick.  Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 min. just until the edges of the cookie are a light brown and firm.  Immediately transfer to a cooling rack.  Ice and decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Royal Icing

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp real vanilla flavoring

1/4 tsp real almond flavoring

cream (add a tsp at a time until correct consistency for decorating)

Beat until icing is creamy and fluffy

Add any food coloring if desired and stir

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