It’s a classic holiday cookie–gingerbread men. But it’s one I’ve never made before. Sure, I’ve made plenty molasses cookies, which are similar in taste but I’ve never actually rolled out the dough and pressed it with a man-shaped cutter. (I know…WHAT have I been DOING all these years?!?) As a matter of fact, my son, Finn and I had to go to the local general store and purchase some cookie cutters for this job. We bought a variety of sizes as well as a gingerbread man and woman. It was fun. And I wanted to be able to do this with Finn because how CHRISTMAS is that?
This was our first Christmas activity of the season. I mean, our very first one. We don’t even have our tree up yet. So I was itching’ to do something Christmas-y. Finn was too. And I must say, baking together like this definitely did put me in the holiday spirit.
These cookies were not only fun to make, but they were seriously delicious as well. Packed with flavor, the spice combination is a winner for sure. They have all those “hearty” spices in them–ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; and of course, molasses. These cookies were a hit not only with my boys, but also the neighborhood kids as well. One comment I heard was, “These are really good ’cause they’re chewy!” And it’s true. This is NOT a dried out, hard cookie. Ain’t nobody got time for that mess. Chewy and flavorful is where it’s at.
Finn wanted to do other shapes as well, so we did some stars, Christmas trees, houses, and hearts. So fun.
Topped with royal icing, these gingerbread men cookies stay decorated. I haven’t had any of the icing fall off, even when stacked. So this recipe would be a great one to include in with a container of Christmas cookies. This was also my first time making royal icing. How exciting!
I used to look at intricately-decorated cookies as real works of art (obviously) but so complicated and suuuuper time-consuming. Now, granted, mine are nowhere near intricately-decorated by ANY means, but just doing the small decorating I did, I discovered how fun it was to do. I can only imagine those bakers piping away multiple colors/decorations on one single cookie…that’s so amazing to me. (Check out this video…and that’s just for “beginners!”) (<— MAJOR INSPIRATION )I have a feeling my cookie decorating days are just beginning. 😉
So if you’re looking for a fun activity to do with a youngster, why not bake and decorate some gingerbread people? It really was the highlight of our day. We’re even talking about inviting some friends over for a “gingerbread man decorating party!” What’s more fun than a handful of 4-5 year olds playing with/then consuming sugar? 😉
Kat is a mother of three boys who loves to bake and enjoys all things DIY. She has been blogging since 2010 featuring recipes and home design projects. Some of her home projects have been featured in Country Living and This Old House magazine, as well as many other prominent DIY blogs and websites.