As a mother to a baby this time of year, I find myself thinking about family traditions and what kind of traditions I want to establish with my family. One of those traditions I would like to start is making gingerbread houses. Growing up I have made a few, but it wasn’t something that we did annually.
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As a young child, we spent Christmas with my dad’s side of the family in California, and I always enjoyed when we’d go to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for a family get together. Aunt, DD, always had the best looking gingerbread houses; I loved checking them out year after year.
This year, since Greta is too little to participate in the kitchen with me (although she did participate in taste-testing), I decided it would be best to find a good recipe to use next year! Looking through recipes and pictures online, I thought it would be best to find a recipe that doesn’t spread when you bake them. I found this recipe from The Kitchen Paper and gave it a go! I stuck with making regular old gingerbread men instead of a house this year to save a little bit of time in the kitchen.
When I went to the store to get the ingredients I didn’t have (molasses and dark brown sugar), I had my first experience with a child screaming and fussing down the aisles, and ended up forgetting what I came for (but at least I got the diapers I needed)! I guess that’s what I get for taking her to the store during her nap time.
Make sure you get unsulfured molasses because it is healthier for you.
After I got home and realized I forgot the molasses and dark brown sugar, I decided I would just test out the recipe anyway, and use some substitutions. I googled substitutes for molasses and found out I could use honey, or maple syrup. I decided to go with half and half of both! I did have light brown sugar, so I just used that instead of dark. Despite having to make some substitutions, the gingerbread men turned out pretty tasty! They were a bit lighter than traditional gingerbread, however.
I loved how the ginger-spice smell filled up the house as these cookies were baking in the oven! I’m already looking forward to making a house next year…
Here is the royal icing recipe that I used to decorate the cookies. I cut the recipe in half, and still had a lot of icing leftover, so if you only make one batch of cookies, you might want to try making a smaller batch of the icing.
Find Gingerbread Essentials Here:
What are your favorite traditions during this time of year? Any tips on putting together a killer gingerbread house? Comment and let me know!
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