This post is part of a year-long collaboration with Hallmark.
Making Christmas cookies is no doubt a time-honored holiday tradition in many homes. Ours is no different. I recall many years of baking cookies with my mom during the month of December with the delightful smells of ginger, vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate wafting through the kitchen . . . (No, not all at the same time! Well, maybe some days they were.)
We didn’t really have a signature family cookie, but we made all the usuals. We did sugar cookies and cut them out into fun shapes, we did the Hershey Kiss cookies, we did peanut butter fudge, we always made “magic cookie bars”, molasses cookies, snickerdoodles . . . oh so many yummy cookies. I come by my sweet tooth honestly!
When I married into my husband’s family, they also had a family Christmas cookie tradition. My mother-in-law made an assortment of homemade cookies every December and served them on Christmas Day. I always left her house feeling like I didn’t need to eat again for a week.
Even though she made several kinds, there was one cookie that stood out above all the rest in their house . . . these Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies.
We don’t even call them gingerbread cookies; we just call them the Shane Christmas Cookies.
This is the only time all year that my husband ventures into the kitchen to cook more than a fried egg.
Although he doesn’t really cook, per se, he was always a part of the Shane family cookie making tradition in his house, so he considers himself an expert. We have to make these cookies HIS WAY. And… get this. He insists that the ONLY way to frost and decorate these cookies is to do it IMMEDIATELY when they come out of the oven.
Do you know what happens when you frost piping hot cookies? The frosting melts and runs all over the place.
But this is the ONLY way it can be done.
After 20 years, I have given up trying to persuade him otherwise. I just make the dough and step aside. He and the kids do the rest.
So last weekend, in preparation for this post, we all gathered in the kitchen for the making of the Shane Family Christmas Cookies.
I had let my son do some of the measuring while I was busy getting pictures of my outfits for another post. Can you visualize this? Oh, yes, this is how we roll around here!
So while I was “modeling”, my 15-year-old son was throwing ingredients into the mixing bowl.
Somehow . . . mysteriously, the dough turned out too soft. We ended up salvaging it by adding more flour and returning it to the fridge for a while, but it was quite a circus until we got our mojo back. You can see how Becca was piecing this Christmas tree back together right here.
Ahhh… family memories. Ain’t they grand???
Of course, it doesn’t really matter if the shapes are recognizable because they all get slathered with melted icing anyway.
The kids were thrilled when it was time to decorate them.
I even got in on the action this year.
They may not be the prettiest cookies ever, but oh, do they ever taste divine . . . I mean, these cookies are truly delicious. The zing of the ginger and the sweetness of the frosting. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Unfortunately, they are NOT gluten-free, although I’m tempted to try to see if I can make a GF version. I miss them terribly.
Want to try them?? Here is a printable recipe for your convenience.
- 1 egg
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (packed in cup)
- 2/3 Cup Molasses
- 1/3 Cup Crisco shortening – melted
- 2 ¾ Cup sifted flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1 stick soft butter
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Dash salt
- Beat egg well. Blend in brown sugar, molasses, melted shortening.
- Sift flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger together – stir into the molasses mixture. Mix well.
- Place in refrigerator to chill for hour or more.
- Roll dough ¼-inch thick on lightly floured cloth covered board. Cookies look more attractive thick.
- Bake 8-10 minutes at 375º. (Don’t overbake.) Ice immediately.
This post is brought to you by Hallmark. All opinions and sticky fingers are my own.