My darling friend Jen hosted a fun holiday cookie exchange today. She is an absolutely amazing host and it was really fun to spend some time with the girls before Christmas hits!
So you’ve been to a cookie exchange before??? Each participant brings a set number of their favorite holiday cookie and leaves with an assortment of the same number. In this case, it was four dozen. I know. That’s a heck of a lot of cookies, right?! There were fancy cookies, traditional cookies, fun cookies, bark…everything you can imagine!
So, if I am going to make four dozen of anything, they’d better be worthwhile…
In my mind, no cookie is more traditional during the holidays than gingerbread…We used to make gingerbread boys, girls, etc. to eat and to decorate with when I was young. I could have used the recipe I grew up with, but well, I was looking for something a little extra special. Not going with the crunchy gingerbread you typically find this time of year. I wanted something soft, chewy and delicious!
Anyway found the best recipe and created a little step by step…
First off, the recipe.
One of the things I loved about this recipe is that there are actually very few ingredients (and anything made with a Jell-O product is great, right?).
Mix the sugar, pudding, egg and softened butter together first.
*You probably know this, but a tip on the butter…Don’t heat it up to microwave, you’ll have a hard time with the dough consistency after. Just set it out in the kitchen about an hour before you start to bake.
Next up, add all of your spices and mix.
Finally, add your flour. I find it best just to add about half, mix and then add the rest.
Your dough should start to stick together and before you’re done with it, it should look like this:
Stick it in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm it up. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll your dough out for cutting.
I rolled the dough to about 1/4 inch thick before cutting.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
You can leave your cookies plain or decorate them. For my little reindeer, I added red hot noses and mini chocolate chip eyes. I also highlighted the antlers with just a tiny bit of royal icing.
Everything is more fun in a little festive packaging right?
I think these would be the perfect thing to box up and take to a holiday party or even to the neighbors. I baked a couple extra gingerbread boys and plan to distribute gingerbread boy decorating kits to my neighbors with small children.
What’s your favorite holiday cookie or treat?