I haven’t done this in a while, but when my daughter was young, it was fun to use this gingerbread recipe I found in my Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. I used the recipe for Gingerbread People. This makes a very pliable, workable dough. After you cut out whatever shapes you want, you can roll the scraps together and cut out more. We have used this dough to make lots of little gingerbread men, stars and other shapes, and also to make a gingerbread house (pictured on the left).
1 ½ cups dark molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup shortening
7 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix molasses, brown sugar, water and shortening.
Mix in remaining ingredients except frosting.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350°. Roll dough ¼ inch thick on
floured board. Cut with floured gingerbread cutter
or other favorite shaped cutter. Place about 2 inches
apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake until no
indentation remains when touched, 10 to 12 minutes;
cool. Decorate with Decorators' Frosting (I just buy the ready-made stuff in a tube).
ABOUT 2 ½ DOZEN 2½ INCH COOKIES.
*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.
Decrease flour to 6 cups.
Roll dough ½ inch thick and cut with floured 2½
inch round cutter. Place about 1½ inches apart
on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake about 15
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Another fun thing to do with the kids, which my daughter and I did when she was pre-school and grade school age, is to get almond bark which can be melted down in the microwave or on the stove top, and make chocolate and vanilla covered snacks. Our favorite things to cover were "Ritz bits" mini peanut butter crackers and miniature pretzels. You can even buy those colored sprinkles to put on top of the vanilla covered snacks to make for a colorful display. The main thing is to find something the kids can enjoy making and sharing.
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Last year during the month of December I posted 12 of my favorite Christmas songs. These songs are still on my blog. To read about them and hear them go up to the top of the blog page and click on "Videos." Then scroll down to "The Joys of Christmas" where you will see the web links listed.