Considering the title of this blog, I figured it was high time I gave you my favorite Gingerbread Ornament recipe. Gingerbread ornaments are kind of my thing. I LOVE making things with gingerbread. I like how they look, how they smell, and how they make me feel. Several years ago I went on a quest, an Internet quest, searching for the perfect recipe. One that gave the ornaments the right smell and texture for my preferences. After all that searching the answer came to me in the mail. Of course, you may have different preferences, but give this recipe a try and see if you like it. Some recipes I found were very difficult to work with, but this one works up easily and holds up well after it is done. So here it is folks, straight from Better Homes and Gardens. I found this in the December 2003 issue of their magazine.
Gingerbread Dough for Decorations
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C light molasses
1/2 C water
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in molasses. Stir in water. Stir in flour mixture. If dough gets too stiff, use your hands. Separate dough into four balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 3 hours. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. For best results, roll dough and cut shapes directly on a baking tray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely or overnight on a flat cooling rack, so cookies are very hard.
Royal Icing (For decorating only)
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 pound confectioner's sugar with 3 egg whites and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Beat until the mixture is stiff and forms peaks. Keep the icing in a bowl, covered with a damp paper towel and a layer of plastic wrap. Store icing in the refrigerator when not in use.
You can use this recipe to make gingerbread men, angels, stars,etc, or you can make gingerbread beads and string them with cranberries, dried orange slices (1/4 inch slices in a 185 degree oven for 6-8 hours), and nuts. Use your imagination!
At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.