Gingerbread Christmas Cookie Trees

Materials

Gingerbread Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour¼ tsp baking soda¼ tsp salt2 tsp cinnamon1 tsp ginger¼ tsp nutmeg¼ tsp cloves6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature½ cup brown sugar1/3 cup light corn syrup1/4 cup molasses1 to 2 Tbsp water


Royal Icing2 cups confectioners’ sugar1 ½ Tbsp meringue powder3 Tbsp water, plus more to thin1/2 Tbsp light corn syrup¼ tsp vanilla extract or lemon juice (optional)Directions:

Preparation

What a great way to spend a cold wintery weekend day, by baking as a family. This recipe and decorating will be fun for the whole family. Take your children to the bulk store and let them pick out their own festive edible tree ornament ideas.

If you have your own gingerbread cookie recipe, please use it, or you can follow the directions below.

How to assemble:

Gingerbread Cookies

  • Step 1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and all of the spices together. Set aside.
  • Step 2. Using a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the corn syrup and molasses and mix until combined.
  • Step 3. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two additions. Mix until combined. If the dough seems dry, add in the water and mix until the dough comes together to form a ball.
  • Step 4. Gather the dough and form into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Step 5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature until it is soft enough to roll out (5 to 10 minutes). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats. Set aside.
  • Step 6. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the dough until about ¼-inch thick and cut out with various sizes of star cookies cutters.
  • Step 7. Baked the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges turn slightly golden. Repeat with the remaining dough.8. Completely cool the cookies on a wire rack before decorating.

Royal Icing:

  • Step 1. Place the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Gently stir to combine. Add the water and mix on medium-low until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and continue to mix until stiff peaks form, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Step 2. Add the corn syrup and vanilla or lemon (if using) and mix to combine. If the icing is still rather thick and clumps together, add more water (a teaspoon or two at a time), until the icing holds stiff peaks.

Assembly:

  • Step 1. Thin the royal icing with water until the desired consistency is reached (for piping, it should resemble the same consistency as toothpaste). Decorate the tops of the cookies, as desired.
  • Step 2. While the icing is still wet, build the Christmas Gingerbread Trees by stacking the smaller stars on top of the larger stars. Use a dab of icing in-between cookies to secure as needed. Attach a small star to the tops of each tree.

Additional decorating ideas:

  • Silver or gold edible balls as ornaments
  • Sprinkles
  • Fine sugar - to add shimmer to the trees
  • Christmas edible candies


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