When I think of Christmas cookies, gingerbread is the first thing that comes to mind; to me they are the quintessential festive cookie and Christmas wouldn’t be complete without having baked a batch or three. The smell of them cooking is guaranteed to put you in a festive mood, they are really easy to make and they will keep for at least a couple of weeks so are perfect for a busy season.
The gingerbread dough can take quite a bit of punishment so these cookies are ideal to make with children as a fun festive project to keep them entertained. They will have loads of fun decorating them as well – the results may not be as neat and pretty as these ones, but provide the kids with a variety of colours of icing and plenty of sprinkles and it will keep them busy for hours! (And even if the cookies are a bit of a mess they will still taste great!)
You can use whatever shape of cookie cutter you like, I went for snowflakes and stars but you could also use the dough to make make gingerbread men, Christmas trees, hearts or even dinosaurs!
The royal icing is super easy to make – just a matter of stirring powdered sugar, lemon juice and egg white together until it reaches the right consistency; and it is a great way to transform plain cookies into beautiful festive ones. You do need a steady hand for piping, but even if it goes a bit wibbly the cookies will still look impressive (mine are certainly nowhere near perfect!).
I couldn’t resist sprinkling the cookies with a bit of edible glitter, it is Christmas after all! This is totally optional of course but who doesn’t want a sparkly cookie?!
Please note that the royal icing contains raw egg so be sure to use pasteurized egg white from a carton if that is of a concern. The cookies will keep for two weeks in an airtight container.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the gingerbread: