In my family, the day after Thanksgiving has always meant the first day of Christmas. It may seem a bit early to some, but with all of us living in different places it’s one of the last times we’ll be together before Christmas Day itself. So in the true holiday spirit, our house begins to resemble Santa’s workshop as we all get to work. My dad hangs the lights outside, my sister and I grab container after container of ornaments and stockings off the shelves in the garage to bring inside, and my mom whips up some homemade hot chocolate and cookies for us all – Noodles hovering close by, waiting for scraps of food to be dropped to the kitchen floor. With a full fire going and Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and other members of the Rat Pack playing in the background, we all gather around to decorate the Christmas tree.
It’s truly one of the most special days of the year in the Embury household, and something I wish I could share with everyone. While I can’t personally invite every person I know into my house, I did the next best thing. I found a way to bring our holiday festivities to you through some of my favorite gingerbread cookies!
These were very simple and affordable to make, which is always a plus on my college budget. They make the perfect gift for friends and family, and go a long way in spreading the holiday cheer. I made quite a few at home over Thanksgiving break, but saved one to enjoy with Kirby and our friends in Los Angeles.
- 1 quart-sized mason jar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- Small spoon or ladle
- Gingerbread man cookie cutter
- Fabric to cover mason jar lid
- Card stock paper to write instructions
- Hole Punch
Mix 2 cups of flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with the ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Layer the ingredients in the mason jar starting with the flour and baking powder mixture, then the brown sugar, and finally the flour and spice mixture. Pack firmly between layers. I used a small metal ladle to press down each layer as I went. Seal the mason jar tightly with the lid.
Fold a piece of card stock paper over and write down the ingredients and directions on the inner section. I used white card stock so that you could clearly see the writing on the page. Feel free to decorate this card however you want. On another piece of card stock (I used brown to resemble a gingerbread man) I stenciled a gingerbread man using the cookie cutter to cut out and paste on the front section of the ingredients and directions card. Make sure to leave room at the top, inner corner to punch a hole.
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- icing and candy to decorate
- Preheat oven to 350˚F
- Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl
- Stir to blend together
- Mix in butter, molasses, and egg
- Cover and refrigerate (1 hr)
- Roll dough to 1/4″ thick on a lightly floured surface
- Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter
- Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake (10-12 mins)
- Decorate and enjoy!
Place enough fabric over the top of the mason jar to cover the metal lid – I chose red to match the holiday theme! Secure the fabric to the jar by wrapping twine around the lid. Make sure to loop in the ingredients and directions card as well as the gingerbread man cookie cutter before tying a bow.
Now you’re ready to gift, bake some cookies, and relax!