Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

So my daughter came home from school with one of those individually wrapped, soft, iced gingerbread men cookies that had red and green sprinkles on it.

I love those things.

And I suddenly realized I hadn’t made gingerbread cookies in years.  Seriously:  years.

So I tweaked an old recipe, rolled out the dough thickly, and dipped them in some royal icing that got a touch of sugar sprinkles.

Uh… YUM.

And I made them miniature.  I did this mostly because I was looking for an excuse to use the miniature cookie cutters I bought on clearance last year, but it turned out to be a wonderful idea.

Bite-sized deliciousness.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Look at all the spices and all that sweetness!

You can just tell they’re going to be awesome.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

It’s a soft dough.

This means it needs to go in the fridge for at least 2 hours before you roll it out.

And you’ll need to sprinkle lots of flour over the counter before you roll it out, and flour the rolling pin, and probably add a little more as you’re rolling.

But that’s okay:  there isn’t that much flour in the recipe itself, so using the extra flour to roll it all out without sticking makes it just the right consistency.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

And you really need to roll them out quite thickly to get that pillowy softness in the finished cookie.

Nearly a half-inch.  At least a quarter inch.  At minimum.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Once the cookies are cooled, just dip them in the royal icing.

Use a fork to stir the icing in between dipping the cookies, and also to scrape excess icing off of the cookies just after dipping them.  You don’t need to scrape the fork directly across the surface of the cookie – just close to it.  If there’s too much icing, it’ll ooze all of the edges and make a mess.

A thin coating is really all you need.  And it spreads as it sits.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Be sure to add the sprinkles before the icing starts to harden.

I usually dip about 3 or 4 cookies before sprinkling them.

To make my red and green sprinkles, I simply mixed some red and some green sugar sprinkles together in a small bowl ahead of time.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Don’t they look yummy?

I could seriously have eaten all of the cookies by myself.

Luckily, I had help.  :)

But the recipe makes a ton.  Like 12 dozen miniature {1-inch} cookies.  Enough to feed an army.  Or 2 or 3 over-stressed moms.

Either way – seriously worth a try.

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Icing:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water
Red and green sugar sprinkles

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg with a mixer until creamy. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, switching to mixing by hand. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Generously sprinkle flour over prep space, including the rolling pin. Remove one portion of dough from refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/2-inch thickness, using extra flour if necessary to avoid sticking.

Use mini cookie cutters (or regular sized cutters, if desired) to cut shapes from dough. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies sit on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mix together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a consistency where a thick line of icing slowly and smoothly drips off of the fork when lifted from the bowl. Dip cookies into icing, wiping off excess with fork while cookie is still upside down over bowl. Immediately sprinkle with a mixture of red and green sugar sprinkles.

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For the free printable PDF version of the recipe, click here:  Mini Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Aren’t those just the sweetest looking mummy cookies you’ve ever seen??

I haven’t made these things in years and I was really craving them, but this year I changed things up a little.

All I did was add some almond extract into the batter and icing, but it really makes a difference.  It adds so much dimension to the cookies.  I feel like vanilla extract gets lost in chocolate cookies, but almond brings out both flavors.

And I like the royal icing as the mummy wrappings because it dries hard and shiny, although royal icing isn’t really known for it’s spectacular flavor… but a little almond is the perfect fix!

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

The cookie batter is based on the Hershey’s chocolate cutout cookies.

It’s an easy recipe, which is part of the reason I like.  You mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, blend the wet in the other, then mix ’em all together.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Once you have your yummy chocolate almond cookie dough, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for an hour.

Try to do this before you – ahem – “taste test” the entire batch.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Roll it out on a floured surface and use some gingerbread men cookie cutters to make the mummies.

My cutters were about 2.5 inches tall and I got 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

The icing can be whipped up quickly with a fork.  I can’t be bothered dragging out the mixer all the time…

Anyway, if you don’t already have meringue powder, it’s worth picking some up.  I swear this stuff lasts forever.

To easily fill a plastic bag with the icing, put the bag in a glass first and fold the edges over the rim.  Scoop in the icing, and you have an instant decorating bag!

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Don’t those look gorgeous??

Once the cookies are completely cooled – and once you’ve made sure to place some waxed or parchment paper under the cooling racks – then go ahead and “wrap” your mummies.

Snip a small hole in the corner of that decorating bag you’ve just filled and drizzle it back and forth over the cookies, allowing it to overlap now and then.

When the icing is hard, CAREFULLY remove the cookies from the racks.  {A couple of my guys lost their heads this way because I got impatient.}  Just use a spatula instead of yanking them off and you should be fine.

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

And while the icing is still wet, you COULD add some eyes, by way of mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms or something along those lines, but I don’t find that necessary.

I like the look of them without any eyeballs.  More elegant.  If mummies can be such a thing…

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectionary (powdered) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

Blend the butter, egg, sugar, and almond extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter in the shape of a gingerbread man for the mummies. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until you can lightly touch the cookie without leaving an indentation. Cool completely on wire racks.

For the icing, use a fork to blend the sugar, meringue powder, extract, and 3 tablespoons water. Continue to add about half a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. You should be able to lift the fork out of the bowl and have the icing slowly drip off in a thick line.

Put the icing in a decorating bag or in a plastic baggie with the corner snipped off, and decorate the cookies by moving the icing back and forth over them. Be sure that you have something under the racks to catch the excess icing, such as waxed paper.

Once the icing has hardened, very carefully remove the cookies from the racks. Store covered.

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Here is the free printable PDF version of the recipe:  Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies

And a few things you may need:

Wilton Christmas Cookie Cutters Wilton Meringue Powder Imitation Almond Extract Organic Almond Extract

Enjoy!

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DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

So, I was helping my aunt get organized for a yard sale, and she had some extra boxes from her recent move.  She asked if I needed them for anything.  I took one look at the big box and thought:  gee, that would make an awesome gingerbread house!

And maybe that wouldn’t be everyone’s first thought, but, hey, I mean the thing was already the right color…

So, I took it home, and I sculpted the box into a gingerbread house with some packing tape and a box cutter.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

I made the roof by cutting off two of the top flaps and taping those to the remaining two flaps that were still attached, as you can see in the photo above.  Taped them together to form the ridge of the roof.

I then cut out a door and three windows (1 big arch in the back to match the door and 2 small circles on the sides) with the box cutter.

I taped down the flaps on the bottom, too, to secure the floor, being careful not to remove too much for the windows and such, to not compromise the structure.  I mean, I only expect it to last the season, but it still has to hold up to the excitement of a 1-1/2 and 3-1/2 year old.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

I took the scraps from the door and carved two gingerbread men for their house.  I decorated them with glue and glitter.

Because there’s always room for glitter.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Here you can see my girls decorating the gingerbread house.

I made some candy canes, peppermint candies, and gumdrops out of construction paper ahead of time.  I made the peppermints by adding a red star to a white circle (close enough), and cut arch shapes from a few colors to represent the gum drops (or spice drops).

And I cut a few waves to represent snow (icing) stuck to the end of the shingles, to give the roof some character.

My girls and I then glued everything on together, and they decorated the house with markers as well.

They drew on the outside walls, the inside walls, the roof, the edges of the windows, the floor, and even on the little gingerbread men.

They decorated it, played in it, dragged it around the house, then decorated it some more.

It was a big hit.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Above you can see the two of them inside the house, decorating it with markers.

To make it yourself, you’ll need:

large cardboard box
packing tape
box cutter
construction paper
glue / glue sticks
markers

And before I go, one more photo, showing the little candy cane heart on the back of the house  :)

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Sweet Bella Roos

And don’t forget to check out these other Christmas crafts:

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Easy Christmas Craft: Paper Cone Christmas Trees

Easy Christmas Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Ornament Painting

Crystal Snowmen

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