Few foods say "Christmas" like gingerbread. The smell alone is enough to put you in the Christmas spirit! Ahhh...cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg... and ginger of course. There are gingerbread houses, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cake---all ready to make your holidays sweet, spicy and delicious.
If you don't feel like baking every day to keep that wonderful gingerbread aroma in your house--try a Gingerbread Yankee Candle ! After 10 minutes in my Candlewarmer, the whole house smells like fresh baked gingerbread! It is heavenly!
When it comes to decorating the kitchen for Christmas, gingerbread is a natural choice.
In my kitchen, I like a mix of gingerbread and red & white candy...
My gingerbread wreath was inspired by this one that I saw online...
I loved how full it was...as well as the mix of different shapes of gingerbread. What I didn't love was the price...$179.00!!!! And that was just for the supplies! You still had to make the wreath yourself. Yikes!
I was shopping in the Dollar Tree and found these really cute gingerbread ornaments. They had larger ones and also a 4 pack of smaller ones ,as well as some cute lollipop ornaments. Then I found some cute gingerbread ornaments at Big Lots that were also $1 each. "Bingo"! The makings of my wreath!
I bought an inexpensive wreath form at Michael's or JoAnn ( not sure which) and then began hot gluing my ornaments onto it. I just tried to make a pleasing arrangement...there was no real pattern. I wanted it to look full. Once I had all the ornaments glued on, I used some cute gingham ribbon to make a bow, and then tucked a cute candy pick into the center of it.
For about $25-$30, I got the same look as my $179 inspiration wreath. I love it.
The little red & white candy trees are also made from Dollar Tree supplies. White styrofoam cones with "Starlight Mints" unwrapped and glued on them, and then given a coating of Mica snow glitter. Easy, inexpensive and cute!
The old cookie jar is home to a large family of gingerbread cookies...
Of course, you have to have milk with your cookies....
I got this cute gingerbread soap dispenser for $4 at K-mart and filled it with--(what else?)--Iced Gingerbread Anit-bacterial soap from Bath & Body Works...
The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. ~Johnny Carson
My gingerbread men are made from real gingerbread and have been hanging around my kitchen for about 7 years!
If you'd like to make some for yourself, it is super easy and a fun project for adults and kids alike. Kids just love decorating their own ornaments and then putting them on the tree year after year.
This recipe makes gingerbread men from dough that looks and smells just like cookies, but will bake as hard as rocks...so I don't recommend trying to eat your ornaments!
Gingerbread Christmas Ornaments
You will need:
1/2 C Sugar
3 Tbl. Shortening
1/2 C Molasses
1tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 C Water
3 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp. Cloves
1 tsp. Allspice
Pre-heat oven to 350"
Cream shortening and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in molasses. Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Stir dry ingredients into shortening mixture in 3 parts, alternating with a 1/4 cup water each time. Dough will be stiff.
Knead dough to warm it and then roll it out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies with cookie cutters of choice. If you want a hanging ornament, use a drinking straw to punch a hole in the center of your ornament before baking.
Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and let cookies cool while still inside.
Cookies should be placed on rack and left for a couple of days to completely harden. Once they are done, you can seal them with an acrylic sealer and then decorate them with acrylic puff paint to simulate icing.
I keep mine in a Rubbermaid storage container.
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