Yesterday I talked to my mother on the phone and said we wouldn’t do cutout cookies this Christmas because Mimi was to little for it.

This morning, Mimi asked to make gingerbread men.

I’ve been feeling, for the first time in my life, a vague sense of doom about Christmas. Maybe it’s because, for the first time, there is a child with expectations involved. That is probably it. Anyway, I had just been reassuring myself, with regards to my traditional 4-6 varieties of Christmas cookies, that I could stop baking them any time I wanted. NO PRESSURE right? It won’t ruin anyone’s Christmas and at least they aren’t cutout cookies thank goodness…

So I had a deep-breathing, Keep It Simple Stupid moment with myself, and set to work. Gingerbread cutouts with icing and candy, yes! I whipped up the dough while Mimi watched The Wrong Trousers, then rolled it out between sheets of parchment and off we went to the store to buy candy for decorations. You want to motivate a toddler to tear herself away from claymation and put on shoes and socks? Tell her you’re going to the store to buy candy.

Once home the dough was chilled and rolled out, and not difficult to cut or transfer. Re-rolling the scraps to make more cookies? HA. As if. I put them aside to stuff into my gingerbread house mold later, but there was absolutely no chance I was going to torture myself by re-rolling.

Icing for decorating, hmmm. Royal icing? Meringue powder? Raw egg whites? How about those squeezy bottles of cookie icing, pre-mixed and in a bottle with a small tip, that were in the stores last year? Not in the store this year. Believe me, we looked. So without thinking very hard I put powdered sugar in a bowl and added water one teaspoonful at a time while stirring very hard until it looked “right”. I threw a small round icing tip into a disposable icing bag without the plastic locking ring, no sir and lo. It worked beautifully. It was far easier to pipe than the proper royal icing I used last year. Will wonders never cease?

And then my girl got to stick candy on her cookies. Oh my. The delight was astonishing. She really, really, really enjoyed herself. I am so glad I phoned it in on these cookies. We were both (pretty) relaxed and happy the whole time, and my girl was so happy about it.

100% worth it.

Another batch of my traditional cookies though? Well I have three kinds made already. We’ll see if there’s a fourth.


3 thoughts on “Gingerbread

  1. Oh, what fun! They look so pretty and yummy. We are baking and decorating Christmas cookies at our house this weekend with Charlotte’s friend. I think I will use your icing recipe… it sounds nice and easy! Do you happen to have an “easy” shortbread or sugar cookie recipe? I have a few on hand, but I’m always looking for a new one to try.

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