Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pretty Little Tree

What a pretty little tree! This is a tree my friend Kim and her family gave to our family last year for Christmas. They made tiny gingerbread dough ornaments to decorate the tree and a cute tree skirt to go with it. It now serves as a decoration in our home and a reminder of our kind friends. I remember the wonderful smell of the ornaments, like a kitchen with fresh baked gingerbread. Mmmmm! Kim kindly shared the recipe for the ornaments so that I can share them with you. Just a note to remember, the ornaments are not for eating, just decorating.

Gingerbread Ornaments

3 Tbsp. shortening ½ cup sugar ½ cup molasses
¾ cup water 3½ cups flour 1 tsp. of cloves, ginger, & cinnamon

Beat shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy, stir in molasses. Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir them into shortening mixture in 3 parts alternating with a 1/4 cup of water each time. Dough will be stiff. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut dough into 3 pieces. Knead to warm dough slightly, then roll each piece out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookie out with a gingerbread pattern of your choice. Use a drinking straw to punch a hole in center if ornament will be hanging. Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes, turn oven off and let cool in oven.Remove from cookie sheet and place on rack to dry for about 3 days to totally harden. These cookies are purely for decorative purposes and not to be eaten. If you wish you can seal cookies with 3 coats of clear acrylic and decorate with colorful acrylic paints when dry.

Note: This dough is for crafting only. Make ornaments to hang or put in baskets that look and smell like real cookies, are made with normal ingredients, bake up rock hard, smell great, and keep for years. Use your favorite cookie cutters to make gingerbread man garlands, gingerbread ornaments and houses.

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