Saturday, December 18, 2010

Libby's Test Kitchen: Fun with Gingerbread

To kick off my kids' Christmas vacation, we made gingerbread cookies.  I have never made them before so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I didn't have a recipe already, so I did a google search and found this one from GoodHousekeeping.  I chose this one because I've used GoodHousekeeping recipes all my life and this particular recipe has been triple tested in their test kitchen.  This recipe is different from other gingerbread recipes because the sugar is cooked in a saucepan first and then the butter and flour are added.  Cooking the ingredients first made this a more difficult recipe than most basic cookie recipes. The dough was a little dry when rolling it out, but it worked out well in the end.

 My kids helped use the cookie cutters to cut out all of the shapes.  They had fun taking turns picking out what shape goes next.  I ended up with far more gingerbread men and tree shapes, though. :-)  After the cookies were done, I made some basic icing with organic fair trade powdered sugar and milk.  I used food coloring for basic colors, red, blue, purple, yellow, and green.

Gingerbread People

I had fun decorating these cookies.  I haven't had much experience with decorating, so I don't have any tools to do it well.  I just used knives to put the icing on so it's not perfect but the kids really enjoyed seeing the end results.  I gave each of my children cookies of their own and they decorated them.  We had a lot of fun and these cookies were very tasty!
Here is a picture of all of the ones that I did:

Homemade Gingerbread Cookies
I'm including links to the organic, fair trade sweeteners that I used in the cookies because they are hard to find.  I usually have to go to Whole Foods to get them since my local grocery store does not carry fair trade sugar.

I wish I could send you some virtual cookies, but I can't, unless you want to pay shipping and handling!
Next time I will make my favorite Christmas cookies that are shaped like wreaths and candy canes.  Have a wonderful evening!
Libby, The Cooking Activist

Here are the pics of the cookies my kids made:
Gingerbread cookies my 2nd grader

Gingerbread cookies my 1st grader