“All I want for Christmas is my gingerbread man cookies!!” That’s my son’s wish for each Christmas. In the past, I would buy it from the bakery shop to save the hassle. But this year, I decided to make them by myself as I find it easy to do. Most importantly, mother and son had a whole load of fun making them together!!
Originally I planned to make gingerbread much earlier. Unfortunately, both my son and I were hit by the sick bugs at the beginning of the month. Thankfully we were only down for a week. Once we had fully recovered, we quickly kicked start our special “project” to be in time for Christmas. But, it was not a smooth start. When we headed to the baking supply shop to buy our ingredients, some of the items were out-of-stock due to high seasonal demand. Nevertheless, we still managed to complete our shopping list by visiting other stores.
During the process of making these cookies, I encountered some difficulties in cutting out the dough. The dough turned soft easily and I had to put it back to the fridge to harden it for several times. I think it may be due to hot temperature in my kitchen. Well, it’s just my guess. If you have better ways of dealing with this problem of mine, I love to hear from you.
I had bookmarked a few recipes for gingerbread cookies, but as a first timer at making these spicy cookies I was quite unsure of which recipe to pick. Each recipe has its own combination of spices. Some use black treacle/molasses while others use honey. After much contemplation, I decided to follow the ginger biscuits recipe from You Can Cook cookbook written by Annabel Karmel. She is my favourite cookbook author for children recipes. I had tried so many of her recipes and so far none had disappointed me. I also incorporated some steps and tips from Martha Stewart, Simply Recipes, Joy of Baking and 孟老師的100道手工餅干 respectively.
As it turns out, the gingerbread cookies taste really delicious!! The sweetness is just right and the spices are not overpowering. They are easy-to-follow and fun-to-make too. You can bake it soft or crispy according to your liking. If you are running out of time, you can make the dough one day ahead, and bake the cookies the next day. My son enjoys cutting and decorating his gingerbread men.
As for the royal icing, I didn’t follow the traditional way which uses egg whites, lemon juice and powdered sugar due to concern for salmonella contamination from raw eggs. As a result, I used meringue powder as substitute for egg white. I also bought one ready-to-use writing icing. Both worked well for me.
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There are still 10 more days to go before Christmas. I hope this recipe comes in time for those who want to make some festive goodies for friends and the love ones. This is also a great opportunity for you to cook with your kids.