I made a special one for each kid!
I made one with an M on it, but Maddox preferred the tennis ball...with the way he loves tennis, he just might make a living out of it!
Gingerbread Recipe (Kaye Wallace)
Makes about 3 dozen, depending on size
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- 5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup shortening (unsalted butter can be substituted)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup dark, unsulfered molasses
In a large bowl, sift flower, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture, and beat on low until combined. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic and flatten into disks. Chill 1 hour.
On lightly floured work space, roll out dough to 1/3 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Rotate baking sheets in oven half way through baking time. Let cool completely on sheets, then transfer to wire cooling racks, before decorating.
Royal Icing (Martha Stewart)
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
- 1 lb. confectioners' sugar
- 5 Tbsp. meringue powder
- Scant 1/2 cup warm water
- Gel-paste, liquid, or powdered food coloring
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine all the ingredients, except food coloring, on low speed. Mix until fluffy yet dense, 7-8 minutes. Use icing immediately, or transfer to air-tight container (royal icing hardens quickly when exposed to air). Beat well with a spatula before using.
To thin royal icing for flooding (filling areas with a thin layer of icing), stir in additional water 1 teaspoon at a time. Test consistency by lifting spoon and letting icing drip back into bowl; a ribbon of icing on the surface should remain for 5 to 7 seconds before settling back.
To color icing, dip the tip of a toothpick into the food coloring and then into the icing. Mix with a rubber spatula, adding more color on a new toothpick until desired shade is reached.
- Royal icing can be made with egg whites instead of meringue powder. Use the freshest eggs possible! Care should be given if serving egg whites to children, pregnant women and older adults.
- If you add too much water when thinning your icing, just put more powdered sugar in to achieve the correct consistency.
- When using the "flooding" technique, make an outline around the border of the cookie then flood the inside of the outline with the background color first. Next, drop the other colors and designs on top of that. If you try to put the design down first, it will get lost in the "flood".
- If your cookie design is very intricate, use a stiff icing to outline each color, then fill in with the "flooding" technique.