Gingerbread is so distinctly Christmas! Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has gone to this little Bavarian themed village in the Cascades called Leavenworth. We always go during the first week of December to kick off our Christmas holiday! It’s literally famous for being a Christmas Town, they have made multiple Hallmark movies there because of it! The whole town is decked out in lights, and there is a little sledding hill downtown where all of the kids can’t wait to go sledding. Across the street from the sledding hill is a little shop called the Gingerbread Factory. They have been making gingerbread for decades and have the best gingerbread cookies! I honestly never really made Gingerbread during Christmas because we would always fill up on it while we were in Leavenworth and not really want more, so instead I always made decorated sugar cookies. Well 4 years ago during the Covid Christmas, our trip got cancelled, and for the first time in my kids life, they were not going to get to go the Gingerbread Factory for cookies!! So I did some digging online and found someone that leaked their recipe (nothing is sacred anymore), and we made homemade gingerbread together that year! And what do you know, just like EVERYTHING else, homemade was WAY WAY better!!! Of course, as usual we used all organic ingredients, and instead of shortening like the recipe called for I used butter (everything is better with butter). But it was a home run, and now we make gingerbread and sugar cookies every year leading up to Christmas!!
If you haven’t made gingerbread before, it is just like sugar cookie dough, where you have to mix the dough and then refrigerate it for a few hours so it is firm enough to be workable. My little trick to having it get cold faster is to split the dough into two or three portions, wrap individually in some Beeswax wraps like the ones found here, some food grade plastic or a ziplock bag, and flatten it out a bit so it’s thinner. Then I take one wrapped section out at a time and roll it out on a floured surface to cut the cookies. Keep the rest in the fridge till you need it. The royal icing is actually way less intimidating than I thought it would be for some reason. It’s literally egg whites and powdered sugar! Since you only need the egg white, it’s a good time to make your eggnog with my homemade egg nog recipe also, since the eggnog only uses the yolks! I just mix the icing and put it into a ziplock bag, squeeze it into one corner and twist the top till. Then cut a little tiny portion of the tip and you have a piping bag to pipe the icing onto the cookies!
I have not tried this recipe with the freshly milled flour yet. But if you decide to experiment with it, let me know how it goes!! If you are interesting in learning more about the countertop mill I have, and the organic wheat berries I use you can click here!
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do, and that it adds some Christmas cheer to your holiday! PRINTABLE RECIPE