Monday, December 19, 2011

Kid-Friendly Gingerbread Cookies

I love gingerbread cookies, and can't seem to get enough of them this year!  This is a great recipe to use if you are making cookies for or with kids, because: 
  • The dough is very forgiving - not too sticky, and pretty easy to roll out and cut (even for little hands)
  • The cookies taste like gingerbread, but they are mild and not as 'spicy' as some gingerbread cookies
  • The cookies are nice and sweet - even if you cut down on the sugar by using sugar-free pudding mix
  • The mini gingerbread men are the perfect bite-sized sweet treat for kids and grown-ups. Because the dough is easy to work with, making the mini version is not hard!
This recipe is from the sister of one of my best friends. She gave me the recipe when I got married, as part of a cook book that some friends put together for me. It's a keeper, and I hope it becomes a holiday tradition for you and your kids!  

Gingerbread Cookies
1 packaged butterscotch pudding mix (sugar free can be used)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream together pudding mix, butter, and sugar until smooth. Add egg and mix until combined.
Combine flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Slowly add dry mixture to pudding mixture and stir until combined. Cover and chill dough until firm - at least 1 hour. 
Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough to about 1/8" and cut into desired shapes.  Place on baking sheets and bake for 1o-12 minutes, until cookies are golden at edges. 
Remove quickly from baking sheets and allow cookies to completely cool on wire racks. Frost with Gingerbread Cookie Icing. 

Gingerbread Cookie Icing
4 egg whites
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add sugar. Beat on high until thickened. Add food coloring if desired. 
Add icing to desired piping tool (piping bags, candy-making bottles, or even Ziploc baggies with one corner snipped off - like this) and apply to cookies. 

For a really great tutorial/article on Royal Icing (which is very similar to the Gingerbread Cookie Icing), click here.  

Print recipe here

I may use these mini gingerbread men in our advent calendar next year. The candy didn't work out so well this year - it made WP a little too crazy (and then cranky.) But these cookies are just a tiny bite of sweetness. They could even be made ahead of time and then stored in the freezer until needed. 

Love, Lauren

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