Gingerbread Time Is Here!

The gingerbread train and tree!

Another holiday tradition of ours is to make gingerbread something-or-other decorations each season. This year, T picked out THREE different gingerbread kits: a train, a big house, and a village of smaller houses. I get these at Bed Bath and Beyond, and thanks to their coupons, it makes the crafts affordable as much as they are fun to do! Note: Do NOT eat these kits. They don’t taste good. ‘Nuf said.

The mostly undecorated gingerbread village. These small houses just got the best of me, I tell ya what. Sigh.

Well as I’m no Gingerbread-building Supermom, suffice it to say that we haven’t gotten around to ALL of those projects and probably won’t this year, but we did finish the train and attempted the small houses. I say attempted because although we were able to build them all, after beginning to decorate just one, I shelved the rest for another day; in all honesty, it’s hard for me to recommend those if you value your sanity. In my opinion, they require a great deal of fine motor skills and patience, neither which are ideal traits for a four-year-old boy, nor the mother of one!

The train turned out great, all thanks to the E-Z Build Tray.

But the train turned out great! Of course it did – it’s a train after all!

A sheet of gingerbread cookies fresh from the oven. Thanks again to Trader Joe's, this time for their Gingerbread Baking Mix!

T and I also found a little time between bouts of holiday illness (ick) to bake a small batch of gingerbread cookies. We haven’t gotten around to decorating them just yet due to the ick, but hope to one of these pre-holiday days!

I’ll put a few more photos below. Enjoy and happy gingerbread’ing!

T was super-focused on making sure his train looked like the one on the box. Trouble is, the one on the box shows candy that our kit didn't come with (or at least as much of each color as they used). Wah-wuh.

More train decorating.

Some of the close-up decorating action, by T.

T insisted we place that "T" on the train. I'm pretty sure it means T for him, not T for train.

T gets to work on decorating the gingerbread tree to go with his train. I let him use the more drizzly icing for the tree, though it wasn't sticky enough later for the candies.

T sticks the candies on the gingerbread tree.

T takes a crack at decorating one of the little houses. So far so good, or so it seems...

... and here's the sad facade I "created" for the first little village house. Yeah, I'm done, for now anyway.

Trader Joe's comes through again this season with a lovely Gingerbread Baking Mix. It's a versatile mix that can be baked into bread or cookies, so make sure to get a few boxes to cover all bases!

My tip for cut-out cookies, thanks to Alton Brown: Be sure to always work with cold dough; always roll dough in single strokes away from you, then rotate dough 90 degrees and repeat; once you have a 1/8 inch thick, uniform piece of dough, place cutters on dough in most efficient pattern; press all cutters down through dough at once; peel away outside scrap dough, reform into a ball and refrigerate for re-rolling later; lift each cutter with dough and place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, removing cutter and other scraps once the cookie is in place for baking; and bake cookies according to recipe instructions.

Our tiny batch of gingerbread cookies that T and I managed to bake up the other day, which remain naked and in need of decoration due to a horrible wave of illness that's taken over our home on-and-off this past week. Soon though! And I think I still have some dough left to bake as well. Again, soon (I hope)!