Back in 1999 I returned to Canada for the last xmas and new year's of the 20th century, spending two weeks with my sister-in-law's family in snowy Prince George, BC. Arriving a few days before xmas, my husband and I had the opportunity to help out with the decoration of the gingerbread cookies. We thought the cookies were so delicious and the family evening so much fun that we decided that gingerbread cookies would from then on be part of our annual tradition too. Though we no longer try to decorate the cookies individually (for instance, transforming the gingerbread ladies into a recognisably Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield) we still enjoy the tradition and take pride in our creations! This recipe has been tried annually and remains true.
6 cups self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp ground ginger, 4 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp ground clove, 1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (NB for some reason the past 2 years we have added an extra 2 oz butter as the mix seemed dryer than usual); 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
2 large eggs, 1 cup molasses (or treacle)
First mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate large bowl mix butter and brown sugar.
Creaming until fluffy...
Add eggs and molasses
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet mix,
stirring after each dry addition.
Divide mixture and form into several balls.
Wrap in cling film (Saran Wrap) and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut into shapes.
We use dinosaur cutters as well as Winnie-the-Pooh and traditional xmas cutters. Make the most of the rolled dough! Bake 8-10 mins.
Cool cookies -
- before decorating! The icing I use for decorating is a simple glace - icing sugar mixed with a bit of boiled water and various food colourings. I use sandwich bags with a tiny corner cut as decorating bags (discard when finished). This recipe makes well over 100 cookies (I think I counted 180 this year) depending on the sizes of your cutters. Store in a cookie tin or freeze some for later. They are great holiday treats but we also include them with our xmas gifts.