Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Cookie Garland

   Here is a fun  decorating/food project for you and your children. Using your favorite gingerbread, or sugar cookie recipe, turn miniature cookies into garland for your family tree,or a smaller decorative tree in your home, or even a mantle.  I made this one today with three of my boys, and they enjoyed mixing, rolling and decorating the cookies. Here is the Martha Stewart gingerbread recipe we used, and directions for making the garland. This dough is different that the gingerbread I posted last December, and has just the right consistency for making ornaments and garland.Have fun!!

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsulphured molasses
1 stick of butter, softened
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 c. milk
5-1/2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder

   In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the sugar, molasses and butter. Add the spices and baking powder. Add the flour and milk, mixing just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    When ready, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Using a straw or a round decorating tip, cut a small hole in the center of each cookie. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool, then decorate.

 For the icing, I used about 2 cups of powdered sugar, one Tbsp of light corn syrup(for shine,you can also skip this), and added water slowly, and a little at a time ,until I had the right spreading consistency. The icing should not be too thick or too thin.If it is too thick, add a bit more water...too thin, add a bit more sugar. Color as desired, and either dip the cookies into the icing, or use pastry bags to decorate. Adorn with added sprinkles or decorations if desired.

   When the cookies are dry, carefully slide a thin string or ribbon through each one until all of the cookies are used! Make small bows on the ends and display on your tree, mantle or kitchen! Your house will smell delicious!!

*** You can also use a ready-made cookie dough...the fun is really in making the project together with your children!!

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