Twelve Days of Cookies - Twelth Day

Now that we are at the end, here’s where the story begins…

Cookie baking with my friends first began in 1996, with gingerbread cutouts and baking only when Stephen was almost two and James was “Sweet Baby James: at only four months old. Little did we know this would become an annual tradition.

The both of the boys “helped” the next year, Laurie and I had our helpers who were three years old and a year and a half. The flour flew, the royal icing was abstract, and Laurie and I were exhausted.

As the years have passed, the tradition continues. The boys have gotten better at cookie cutting and measuring. They get to take the cookie trays out of the oven these days, something they have wanted to do since they were about five years old. They are still excited about our holiday tradition, I think, although their attention span still wanes during the afternoon – nowadays turning to the Charger games and Nintendo.

Stephen is definitely more interested in the baking than James, but James still contributes. This year James took the foil off an entire back of Hersey’s Kisses for the Peanut Butter Kisses, no small task!

This is our favorite recipe, a Christmas classic, and definitely a “must” for any holiday cookie baking day.

James and Stephen
Laurie and Holly
Gingerbread Cutouts

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 tbsp vinegar
Creamy Decorative Icing & candies (optional)

Stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. In a large mixer bowl beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, molasses, and vinegar and beat well. Beat in flour mixture gradually, stirring in last part with a spoon till well mixed. Divide dough into thirds (in long rolls). Cover and chill about 3 hours or till easy to handle.

(Take one roll and split in half. Leave half in refrigerator and with other half) roll dough 1/8” thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375º oven for 5 – 6 minutes or till done. Cool and decorate.

Creamy Decorative Icing:
In a small mixer bowl beat 1 egg white, 2 tsp lemon juice (from a lemon fresh off of Laurie’s tree) and enough sifted powdered sugar (1 ½ - 2 cups) to make icing of piping consistency.

Laurie loves the reindeer, which are the most delicate and difficult to get out of the cutters. James likes the angels. I like the candy canes; they are easy and so traditional. Stephen likes to eat all of them!
Ready to ice
Ready to Eat!
Part of the Day's Efforts!


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