Sunday, December 22, 2019

My Love for Gingerbread and a Very Merry Christmas

Gingerbread cookies are one of my many favorite cookies for the Christmas holiday.  The recipe can be made for either a soft or crunchy cookie. Its dough can be rolled out and cut into various shapes and sizes, such as a gingerbread man or woman or they can be cut into pieces to form a gingerbread house with a cream of tartar frosting as the "glue" which firmly holds all of the pieces together.  These delicious cookies with their pungent taste from molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves are perfect for decorating.  The shape most famous for the gingerbread dough is the gingerbread men and women which have become one of the many popular symbols of the Christmas season.  Even the faux (non-edible) gingerbread men, women and house decor makes decorating your home so nostalgic and heart-warming.

This leads me to once again set my holiday table with gingerbread men.  (If you happened to have missed my previous posting entitled, A Visit with the Gingerbreads, see this link:  A Visit With the Gingerbreads at The Little Yellow Corner Store.  This adorable creamy white, green and red gingerbread dinnerware set was a rescued set during my outing with my sister at a local thrift shop.  It was missing only one cup to complete a 16-piece set and it was easy to find a replacement online.  This set has a nostalgic, vintage feel to it and sewing a primitive green and creamy white plaid table topper adds that bit of old country feel that I was looking for.

A contrasting red and white polka dot pitcher with a peppermint striped handle and filled with greenery adds that element of color and surprise to the table.  You may agree that it fits in or not, but I love to mix patterns and add something which is totally unexpected to the table. The mixing spatulas and gingerbread measuring cups make cute accents to the table and give a hint as to what we will be baking soon. The gingerbread napkin rings seem to be a subtle accent and holds the two color napkins in place.  I couldn't resist adding my faux gingerbread cookies to the bowls with the red and green ornaments. These gingerbread men and women ornaments look so much like a real cookie and seem to compliment the gingerbread pattern in the dinnerware set.

With all of the gingerbread cookie pieces in the table, it has inspired me to create a real (edible) gingerbread tree made from the gingerbread dough recipe handed down to me by my mother.  (See the recipe at the end of this post.)  Although she made the cookie dough into gingerbread men, we always hoped to make a stacked Christmas tree in the future.  Although my dear mother has passed on many years ago, this year in her memory, I accomplished our goal of making one which, originally, was going to be used for the centerpiece of this table.

I loved making and decorating this stacked cookie tree and had enough dough to make a tree for my sister's family.  The decorating possibilities of this delicious tree are endless.  Our mom would have been thrilled.

Mom's Memorable Gingerbread Cookies (Tree)

5 to 5 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves
1 C shortening
1 C sugar
1 1/4 C unsulphured molasses
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.  Thoroughly mix flour, soda, salt and spices.  Melt shortening in large saucepan.  Cool slightly.  Add sugar, molasses and eggs and mix well.  Add four cups of dry ingredients and mix well.

Turn mixture onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand.  Add a little more flour, if necessary to make a firm dough.  Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 in thickness.  Cut out stars.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet; small and medium-sized stars for 6-10 minutes, large stars for 10-15 mintues, depending on your oven.  Check as it bakes.  After baking, loosen gingerbread stars with spatula to prevent sticking and cool completely on baking rack.

After cookies are cool, frost with firm frosting of your choice, such as buttercream or royal icing and stack tree with sizes as you go along.  Decorate according to your liking.  I used the following buttercream frosting:

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 C solid vegetable shortening
1/2 C butter
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract or clear almond extract
4 C sifted confectioners sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
2 T milk

Cream butter and shortening in mixer.  Add vanilla or almond extract.  Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.  Add milk and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients.  Keep icing covered with damp cloth until ready to use or refrigerate until ready to use.  Can be stored covered tightly in refrigerate for 2 weeks.  Rewhip before using.  

**If you are not using your dough right away, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  It can be kept for one week in the refrigerator.  Remove dough 3 hours prior to use so that it softens.  

From our family and the gingerbread family.........

Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas!


  1. How adorable and yummy! Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh my goodness, your table is so darling, and what a wonderful memory of your mom and a sweet gingerbread tree. Thank you for posting❣

  3. So adorable Marsha! Merry Merry Christmas!

  4. O MY!! Your table is so charming!!! Love the Gingerbread!! everything looks so yummy!! what a wonderful memory of your Mother and the sweet Gingerbread Tree....

  5. Very nice. #Alittlebitofeverything

  6. I love the mix of patterns, and the napkin rings are perfect! Your gingerbread trees are wonderful, thank you for sharing the recipe, too. Merry Christmas!

  7. I love gingerbread men too! Thanks for share so much creativity. The tree looks yummy and beautiful! I didn't have time to gingerbread cut-outs this year, but you have inspired to still do them!

  8. What an adorable, whimsical table!

  9. Your gingerbread tablescape looks great! My favorite is the centerpiece with the pitcher and peppermint picks with greenery. I'm visiting from Friday Favorites Linky Party where I shared #27. :)

  10. I love gingerbread, too, and your table and goodies are adorable. Stopping by from Pink Saturday.

  11. What a beautiful way to remember your late Mom! Both of your gingerbread Christmas trees are gorgeous - as are your sweet gingerbread men. I love your china too. I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas! Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party.

  12. There is something really warm and comforting about Gingerbread, I love your Gingerbread table setting! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday in 2019 and hope you will include the party in 2020. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!
    Miz Helen