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Gingerbread Angels

Gingerbread Angels

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Makes about 6 dozen 3-inch cookies Servings


  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze; optional)
  • Raw sugar and/or colored sugar (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt in large bowl. Place crystallized ginger in mini processor; add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and blend until ginger is very finely chopped. Using electric mixer, beat butter in another large bowl until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in molasses, orange juice, and orange peel (batter may look curdled). Beat in crystallized ginger mixture. Blend in remaining flour-spice mixture. Gather dough together. Flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 4 hours.

  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Divide dough into 4 portions; shape each into round. Chill 3 rounds. Roll out remaining dough round on floured work surface to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Using floured angel-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Gather dough scraps and reroll to generous 1/8-inch thickness; cut out more cookies. Using spatula, transfer cookies to sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush cookies with glaze, then sprinkle with raw sugar and/or colored sugar, if desired.

  • Bake cookies until golden, reversing sheets after 7 minutes, about 14 minutes total. Let stand 2 minutes; transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough, cooling baking sheets between batches. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container.

Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler,Reviews Section

Healthy Gingerbread Angels

Nothing says Christmas like a fresh batch of gingerbread! This healthy gingerbread recipe makes delicious gingerbread angels, gingerbread men or any of your other favourite gingerbread shapes.

Ideal treats for the whole family, as a gift and of course… to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. It’s a sure fire way to ensure you’re on the ‘nice list’ for life xx

National Gingerbread House Competition

Adult 2nd Place: Billie Mochow of Burns, Tenn.

"Cathedral of the Angels"
Constructed of gingerbread, gum paste and icing.

Mochow was inspired by a photograph of Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa. Her goal was to design a gingerbread creation that appeared to have light coming from it. She built this house from the inside out, which, she said, was very challenging.

The mother and child are made of gingerbread and "dressed" in gum paste. Mochow made her own molds for the lambs and some of the angels. The faceless "people" are gingerbread cookies that were hand cut and dressed to appear dimensional. The trees are stacked ice cream cones.

The judges were impressed by the combination of different geometric shapes. Mochow was the grand prize winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition in 2008.

Adult Top 10: Carolina Montoya and Fernado Puga of Miami

"First Family Holiday House"
Constructed of gingerbread, fondant, gum paste, coconut, crisped rice cereal and breath mint strips for the windows.

This was Montoya's and husband Puga's first entry into the competition. She worked 302 hours on the creation in the course of two months, she said.

Montoya wanted to design something traditional and, although she says she is not a political person, she said, the Obama family set a good example of family togetherness. She said she wanted to inject a top of humor, which is why it looks as though President Obama has climbed out the window and up onto the chimney with a bag full of toys.

All gingerbread house entries have to be entirely edible and, Montoya said, the judges actually pulled off a piece of one of her windows and tasted it, to make sure it was indeed made from breath mint strips.

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Combine flour, sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Cut in shortening. Reserve 1/4 cup of this mixture for topping. Add egg to remaining flour mixture stir in molasses. Dissolve soda and salt in buttermilk add to molasses mixture and pour into greased 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle the reserved topping over batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve hot. (This is a coffee cake-type gingerbread.)

Gingerbread Angels - Recipes


I can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks, Mary!

I've never eaten nor made gingerbread. I've always been scared I wouldn't like it. I don't like the smell too much. I'm willing to try this recipe. It sounds good!

Do you think I could leave out the cloves and lessen the ginger? I know. I'm weird about certain smells and tastes.

Definitely! I play around with spices in recipes all the time. I think for this one I added more to the originals since I like a lot!

28 Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipes of All Time

The holidays can't happen without a little ginger and nutmeg!

Gingerbread men, trees, houses &mdash you name it. Celebrate the most wonderful time of year with one of these festive treats, which are full of sugar, spice, and everything nice. SO. MUCH. NICE.

Carry-on the tradition this holiday season by whipping up a batch of these spice cookies.

Replicate falling snow on mint and cream gingerbread trees.

Transform a basic gingerbread man into Rudolph and his reindeer friends. Use brown and white frosting to create the reindeer head and antlers. Finish it off with Red Hots or red M&M's for Rudolph's famous nose.

Here's an elegant update on the kiddish cookie worthy of your classiest holiday soiree.

Move over cookies &mdash these gooey caramel gingerbread bars are the new go-to Christmas dessert.

Gingerbread men hanging decoration

1 Preheat oven to 170ºC. In a large mixing bowl place banana and mash with a fork. Add eggs and almonds. Mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients except raisins. Mix well.

2 If the dough sticks to your fingers, add another 1/4 cup high-grade flour. Divide the dough in two portions. Roll each portion between 2 sheets of baking paper until 1cm thick. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

3 Cut out gingerbread men figures. Decorate with raisins (face and buttons). With a straw, cut out a hole (for the string) in the centre of the forehead. Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm. Wait until cool, thread through a decorative string and hang on the tree. Or store in an airtight container if you want to eat them.

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Combine flour, sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Cut in shortening. Reserve 1/4 cup of this mixture for topping. Add egg to remaining flour mixture stir in molasses. Dissolve soda and salt in buttermilk add to molasses mixture and pour into greased 8-inch square pan. Sprinkle the reserved topping over batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve hot. (This is a coffee cake-type gingerbread.)

Gingerbread Holiday Cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg

Royal Icing
2 large egg whites
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted

Brooklyn Homemaker

When I was young my mom came up with an idea for my sister and I to make homemade christmas gifts without spending a lot of money. She made up a batch of dough, we rolled it out, and cut out cute Christmas shapes with cookie cutters. This wasn’t cookie dough though, it was salt dough. At the time I didn’t know the name of it, or even what was in it, but I knew we weren’t supposed to eat it. I can only imagine how hard that was for me at seven years old. Salt dough is very simple to make, basically just flour, salt and water, and when you bake it it becomes very hard and will last forever if you keep it dry and clean.

Before we baked our “cookies”, we poked holes in the tops of each shape with a straw. After they came out of the oven we painted them with brightly colored craft paint, and strung through a piece of ribbon. Mom painted our names and the dates on the backs of each of them, and we had personalized handmade Christmas ornaments that we gave away to our family as gifts. My grandmother had those ornaments hanging on her tree each and every year until she stopped putting it up when we went away to college.

It turns out that salt dough has been around for centuries and can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Flour and water is mixed with salt as a preservative and the dough can be worked with kind of like clay. Then it’s baked at a low temperature for long enough to remove all the moisture and harden the finished product. Some people use salt dough to make elaborate sculptures and creations, but most people use it for children’s crafts. The dough is easy to make, easy to work with, non-toxic, and can be made from things most people already have at home.

At work last year we were coming up with ideas for our Christmas window and I thought it might be fun to make a grown-up version of these ornaments. We sell a lot of bakeware so I thought it would be really cute to have pretty sugar cookie snowflakes hanging in the window. I wanted them to look as real as possible, so I used real royal icing and sprinkles to decorate them. They came out beautiful and I packed them up in boxes and took them to work with me.

To my dismay, much of the detailed royal icing piping started to flake off of the cookies when we tried to hang them. I’m not exactly sure what went wrong but I’m certain it had something to do with the super high salt content. We still had enough in tact that we were still able to use them in the window, and the display was absoultely beautiful. No one would have guessed that there had been any problems, but I learned a valuable lesson. Real royal icing on salt dough fake cookies is a big fat NO.

This year I decided to give salt dough another go, but knew I should look for a better “icing” solution. I wanted to recreate the look and texture of royal icing, but using a more permanent medium. My first thought was puff paint. In the 90s you couldn’t walk down the street without tripping over a tube of puff paint, but in 2013 it seems like it’s impossible to find. I’m sure that big craft stores sell it, but I don’t have a car and couldn’t get to a craft store. I tried using some white caulk that I had leftover from my kitchen backsplash project, but the consistency was too thick and it was difficult to work with. After that I decided to try calling the local art supply store and see if they had any suggestions. They pointed me toward a product called light molding paste, which has almost the same consistency as frosting. I tried using it as is, piping it from a pastry bag with small round tip (or writing tip) and it piped out really nicely. Sprinkles and glitter stuck to it really well too, and I got some really nice results using it. The only issue I had was that it’s slightly thicker than royal icing, more like frosting, and doesn’t smooth out the way royal icing does. Since molding paste is water soluble, I tried thinning it out just slightly with water to get a thinner consistency.

I’m so glad I called that art store. This stuff was perfect. It was very easy to thin out to the consistency I wanted, and piped just like the real thing. It was easy to work with, and simple soap and water cleaned it up with no trouble. It dried nice and hard too and stayed stuck to the salt dough with no problems. I’m assuming that puff paint would probably work well too- but this stuff was truly ideal. I’d definitely recommend it if you want to try this project yourself. You can find it at any art supply store and they have it at the big craft stores too. I used Golden brand, and it’s important that you get the light molding paste. Since I didn’t completely cover my ornaments I didn’t use much either. I bought the smallest container the store had, and after decorating probably about 30+ ornaments I still have half a jar left.

Since I wanted my ornaments to look like gingerbread cookies and not sugar cookies, I decided to color the dough. I could have used food color or paint, but I wanted to try to achieve a more natural molasses and spice kind of brown color. I also thought that it would be great if the finished ornaments had a nice gingerbready smell, so I decided to use spices to color my dough. In my test batch I used ginger, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. It smelled amazing in the oven, but after a long slow bake they didn’t smell like much after they cooled. I noticed that the best gingerbread color came from the cinnamon, so when I made the next batch I skipped the other spices all together. You can use more or less depending on how dark you’d like the dough, but cinnamon is really all you need to get the color right. My advise would be to use the cheapest cinnamon money can buy. Go to the dollar store and buy the flavorless stuff you’d never actually want to bake with. Don’t waste the good stuff on these. You need a lot of it to get the color right, and you’re never going to get to eat these “cookies”.

I also noticed in my test batch that in the first half hour of baking the salt comes to the surface of the dough, bleaching out the exposed surface and fading the color I worked so hard to get right. The side that was facing down and wasn’t exposed to the air was fine though, and once most of the moisture had baked off they could be flipped and continued baking didn’t bleach the other side. So, when I made my second batch I baked them with the side I wanted to decorate facing down. Bingo!

You should totally do that too.

To decorate the ornaments I fitted a disposable pastry bag with a Wilton #3 tip and filled it with my thinned light molding paste. Then I piped out a thin even line and made some designs. Some ornaments were just outlined, others got lines and dots, some had intricate snowflake designs, but you can do whatever you like. If you’ve never used a piping bag and pastry tip, I’d definitely recommend some practice before you dive into this project. This is permanent so you want them to be pretty near perfect. I promise it’s not as scary as you might think. Just twist the top of the bag closed so your “icing” doesn’t squeeze out the top when you put pressure on the bag. Then hold your tip a small distance from your ornament and squeeze the bag with slight and even pressure. Patience and practice. You could also just “frost” your ornaments instead without thinning the molding paste and they would still look realistic and pretty.
Before the molding paste dried I covered the ornaments with glitter, nonpareils & dragees. I found a glitter that looked similar to a product I’ve seen in a cake decorating store- so the cookies still look very realistic. I worked with a just a few ornaments at a time to make sure the molding paste didn’t dry before I put the glitter on it. Then I just shook the glitter off and set the finished ornament on a tray to dry. I completely covered each ornament in glitter, and was able to re-use the leftover glitter for the next batch of ornaments, over and over until I was finished.

Word of warning: Glitter is pretty but it’s also the devil. There is glitter everywhere. I’ve vacuumed, mopped, rinsed, showered, and scrubbed multiple times and I still see glitter everywhere. It on my floors, in the rug, on the counters, even on me. It’s been days and I still catch customers at work looking at me funny and realize I have glitter in my beard.

I couldn’t be happier with the results.

They came out beautiful. They really do look very similar to the real thing, and they look gorgeous on my tree. I’m really glad that I went with white decorations for them too. I’m sure that adding some color to the molding paste would be easy and the results would be beautiful, but these simple white ornaments go perfectly with our apartment. The white pops against the brown “cookies”, and they look chic, timeless and modern all at once. These photos don’t do them justice when the lights are on. They’re all sparkly and stuff!

You should definitely give this a try. Your Christmas tree will thank you. And then you will thank me. (You’re welcome.)

Gingerbread Salt Dough Ornaments

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. If you want plain (non-gingerbread) dough, or want to color the dough, leave out the cinnamon. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface to be sure it’s well mixed and has a smooth consistency. Knead in more cinnamon if you want a darker color or more flour if dough feels too sticky. Lightly coat with flour (or cinnamon) and roll dough out to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. These “cookies” will not rise at all- so make them as thick as you’d like the finished product to be. Cut into desired shapes, and cut a small hole with a straw or piping tip. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure the side you want to decorate is face down. Bake for 2-3 hours or until completely dry.

Allow the ornaments to cool completely. Using a pastry bag with a small writing tip, pipe on desired design with light molding paste. Puff paint should also work well for this. Decorate with glitter, small beads, or whatever you like. If you’re only using this for one season, sprinkles and candies work too. Allow “icing” to dry completely, for at least 4 hours. If desired, spray with a matte sealer and let dry according to directions. String some ribbon or bakers twine, tie a knot or bow and you’re ready to decorate!

*Update: This didn’t happen to my ornaments, but one reader said her ornaments bubbled up in the oven. I read up on it and learned that this can happen if they dry too fast or if the oven temp is too high, so I’d suggest getting an oven thermometer to be sure your oven doesn’t go above 250. To be extra careful, you may even want to try baking them at a 225 for a longer period of time.

Watch the video: Weihnachtstorte. Engel. feine Lebkuchentorte (May 2022).