I remembered that 2 years ago he got me some "Ninjabread" (te-he) cookie cutters. Although they are not Christmas-y (I don't believe ninjas are involved in the Nativity story), they are fun.
See this ninja is taking down his Christmas tree too. :-)
I did not grow up with gingerbread, and now I think I understand why my mom didn't make them. They're so sticky! I knew this, and thought I was prepared. However, after my first attempt at cutting them out was followed by some very non-Christmas-y words, I loaded up on the flour. And, of course, it worked out just fine.
These cookies have a lovely flavor that even won me over. They aren't punch-you-in-the-face gingery. Still spicy, but wonderfully balanced, and tender.
My icing attempt won't win any prizes for their aesthetic appeal, but they sure tasted great! This recipe has secured a place in my Christmas cookie rotation.
(from Taste of Home)
Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size of cookie cutter
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons water
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, egg and water. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 Tbsp milk (to desired consistency)
Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until well combined. Mix in milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Scoop into Ziploc bag (or pastry bag) to pipe onto cookies.