Bake up some gifts!

Every December my family meets up with two other families for some holiday cheer. This annual event is fun for everyone — the adults get along, the kids all get along — you get the idea.

But I always stress about what gifts to buy the kids. This year, my 8-year old’s suggestion was baking them cookies. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? After some brainstorming, we decided to package up the dry ingredients in a mason jar, include the recipe and a few fun cookie cutters, and voila, instant gift. A few years ago a colleague mentioned that the best holiday time with her teenage kids was baking up gifts for friends and family. She was right!

This past weekend we tested out a gingerbread recipe that a neighbour shared with us. It’s simple and easy to roll out. The hardest part is waiting the half hour when the dough chills in the fridge. While I used her suggestion to use some whole wheat flour, I left out the salt.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup all -purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (leave out if you wish)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice

What to do:

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Blend in molasses and water.
  3. Mix dry ingredients together.
  4. Add to wet ingredients.
  5. Chill the dough in the fridge for 1/2 hour.
  6. Heat oven to 375F.
  7. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured board or counter.
  8. Cut dough with cookie cutters and place on an ungreased sheet. (I used parchment paper.)
  9. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. (For crisper cookies roll the dough 1/8 inch thick and bake 8 minutes.)

The cookies came out moist, not-too-sweet and mildly spiced. Perfect to enjoy with a cold glass of milk or soothing hot chocolate.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season! Fun. Family. Friends. Food. Fabulous.

Zannat 

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