Monday, December 5, 2016

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Yummy Honey Gingerbread House Cookie Recipe & Decorating

A child with a sugar intolerance complicates Christmas. Luckily she can have honey and molasses! Decorating sugar cookies at Christmastime has been a tradition for years, but now we are changing our tradition to decorating honey gingerbread cookies! And I have to tell you...even my other sugar-loving children thought these gingerbread cookies were amazing! We sweetened them with honey and flavored them with a gentle combination of spices to make a mild gingerbread flavor that all my kids loved!

Even without frosting, the kids were eating these as fast as they came out of the oven! With frosting, everyone acted like they were in cookie heaven!

The trick to getting a soft, moist texture is to pull them out of the oven as soon as they are done cooking. Do not overbake! The edges will just start to turn a light brown when they are done. Pull them out, let them sit on the pan for about two minutes (or until they are firm enough to pull off the pan), and let them finish cooling on a rack.

Once they were cooled we talked about shapes and assembled our gingerbread house cookies with squares and triangles. Then we scooped frosting into a ziplock bag and cut a corner off so the kids could decorate their cookies easily.

When we actually got to decorating, the kids' creativity took over and the cookies magically morphed into stars, robots, and more!

My kids totally love the mild gingerbread and sweet honey flavor these soft cookies had. (If I make "spicy" gingerbread cookies, I get to eat them all myself, lol!) And my little sugar-intolerant kiddo loved being able to eat them with everyone else.

I think I've "talked" about them for long enough, so here is the recipe:

Yummy Honey Gingerbread Cookie Recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups honey
1 egg
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4-5 cups flour

1- Cream the butter, molasses, and honey together until they are smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until it is smooth again.

2- Add 3 cups of flour, the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and beat until it is smooth. Add the remaining flour. You want just enough flour so that it is not too sticky.

3- Refrigerate at least an hour. Sidenote: I always get impatient at this point! I used a tablespoon to "drop" some cookies onto a cookie sheet, and I flattened them down to 1/4 inch thick with the back of a lightly greased spoon. They cooked up beautifully, and we all enjoyed a cookie right away! We all loved them, even without frosting! I put the rest of the dough in the fridge and we finished rolling out and cooking them the next day. :) 

4- Take the dough out of the fridge and lightly flour your counter.  Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. We used the back of a knife to cut out squares and triangles for the houses and cookie cutters for the other shapes. The kids insisted on creating all sorts of other unique shapes with the dough too!

My daughter braided this one:

5- Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch your cookies closely! Many of our small cookies only took 6 minutes! As soon as they start to brown on the outside, pull the pan out of the oven. Let them cool on the pan for about 2 minutes, or until they are firm enough to hold together while you move them. Let them finish cooling on a cooling rack.

6- Have a blast decorating your cookies!!

I absolutely love seeing their creative baking work! Here are some of their "fancy" cookies that were eaten before the frosting came out:

And here are some of the decorated cookies:

We made these honey gingerbread cookies to go with the Gingerbread Theme this week at the Virtual Book Club for Kids!!

The featured book is The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth (Amazon Affiliate Links below):

One of my all time favorite gingerbread books (featured in my preschool curriculum HEEP) is The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires:

This week co-hosts for the Virtual Book Club will be sharing loads of gingerbread activities! Join in the fun on Facebook and try out some of the activities below:

Name Activities
Gingerbread Man DIY Maths Maniulpatives - Rainy Day Mum

Color Activities

Movement Activities

Happy Educating,

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

I may share at any of these parties!

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