This is the time of year that being a mom is so rewarding and sooo hard. Over the Thanksgiving break my daughter had a school project where they traced each family member’s hand and then they drew pictures of holiday traditions that each person loved. I thought for sure my kids would pick riding the North Pole Express or going to the nutcracker. Maybe Santa bringing presents (that did make it on the 4 year old’s list)… but to my surprise what made it on almost everyone’s list, making cookies.
Maybe it’s because we don’t bake gingerbread cookies any other time than at Christmas, maybe it’s just because everyone loves cookies. So many years I have spent tons of money and time finding the best events to take my kids to (in the Grapevine, TX area “Christmas Capital of Texas” it’s easy to find hundreds of things to do) but to them what has helped make the holiday season magical is slowing down and strapping on an apron. Today I’m going to give you all of our favorite items we use when making Christmas cookies and our favorite gingerbread recipe.
This might sound a bit weird but I love aprons! I have quite a few but even then every year I’m on the hunt for new ones for the kids or myself. My favorite are Williams Sonoma, they are thick and really hold up to years of daily use. They are long enough to cover most of your clothes and they have pockets… I can not handle an apron without pockets. I have both adult and the kids sizes and I would say that my daughter (almost 7) fits the kids size but for the almost 4 year old they are still a bit too big. Last year I found him the most adorable dinosaur apron that is perfect for the toddler boys that want to help in the kitchen and it’s not too long for 2-4 year olds!
Next we had to find the right supplies to make the cookies, I’m a big fan of my stand mixer when I need to do volume baking like Christmas Cookies. I have a classic stainless steel color but over the years I have lusted over the Kitchen Aid red stand mixer and I found one for 41% off .
Once the dough is made I let the kids help roll it out and since may daughter got an American Girl baking kit she has her own rolling pin to help out. For years Williams Sonoma carried the Christmas cookie punch cutters- that’s how we make these that have the indentations on them but for some reason this year they don’t have them (aahhh!) so I found a set on Amazon that is similar I just have not used these personally. They do have a set that punches a hole in the middle for Linzer cookies but we like ours filled for decorating. Although if you want to make a little different type of cookie go for the Hogwarts, Superheros or even Star Wars cutters!
Another item that totally helps little hands are these silicone frosting bulbs (they are upside down in plastic cups for easy squeezing), if you are a royal frosting person then these are super helpful since they are easy to squeeze but keep a lot of frosting in them. To help mix our frosting colors I have always relied on the coloring paste since it has vibrant colors and a little goes a long way. Add a whole lot of sprinkles and you have yourself a holiday tradition that kids (and adults) cherish.
I hope that you found some ideas for your holiday cookie making and through TODAY 12/11/19 get 20% off your order from Williams Sonoma with code MERRY.
These soft gingerbread cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. This is the perfect cut-out cookie recipe, and will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature (salted or unsalted)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup dark molasses
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 5 cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- Cream butter, adding sugar gradually. Beat until well combined and light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in egg, molasses, and vinegar.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients together and then blend sifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Divide the dough into two even pieces, wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 90 minutes.
- When the dough is done chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working in sections, roll the dough to 1/2″ thick on a floured surface; cut into desired shapes. Place shapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Gather and reroll “scraps” of dough as needed, using all of the dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Leave plain or decorate
- 3oz egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powered sugar
- Combine egg whites & vanilla until frothy.
- Add sugar gradually and mix until shiny
- Turn to high until peaks form
- Separate out and add coloring to batches based on colors you want to use (don’t forget to keep some white)
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