Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread Decorating

The Christmas season is in full gear and we Olsons are doing our best to keep up. Our tree is trimmed, our halls are decked, and our children are beyond excited for the big day. Annika and Conor practically overflow with anticipation each morning as they wait to discover what our house nissen left in the Advent calendar each night.

It wouldn't be the holidays without a wee bit of baking, too! One of our projects this week was baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. We broke it into a two-day project, which probably preserved a little bit of my remaining sanity. I made the dough (solo... just to avoid any missed ingredients... oh, say like the sugar in a cheesecake ... not that I would EVER admit to doing that! Staci, I still owe you a new cheesecake, by the way!) and the kids helped cut out and bake the cookies, which they had a lot of fun doing. Two days later (I made gingerbread and krumkake for a work potluck, so the gingerbread cookies had to wait), we pulled out the decorating tools, whipped up the royal icing, and went to work making our masterpieces.

For those of you not familiar with using royal icing to decorate cookies, typically, you outline the cookie with a thicker version of the icing to act as an icing parameter. Then, you flood the inside of the parameter with a thinner version of the royal icing. Boy, did Conor jump in with both feet when the flooding part was to begin. That little boy flooded to within a inch of his life... and a few inches past the life of his cookie. He flooded, added sprinkles, flooded, added more sprinkles (because the first ones were completely covered), and repeat. He had a marvelous time!!

Annika took the "less is more" approach to her cookie. She was very particular in how her cookie evolved, and made sure to include its separate pieces of attire... which kind of got lost in translation because the royal icing was all white, so her cookie had white sleeves, white shirt, white pants... Annika showed great restraint while decorating her cookie and was thrilled with her final results.

All-in-all, both kiddos (and their mama) had a great time decorating cookies and spreading a bit more holiday cheer with each other!

Conor flooding his gingerbread cookie

Royal icing overboard!

Annika making sure her cookie is runway ready

Christmas tree buttons are at the height of fashion on the North Pole cat walks

More flooding! (Don't let this kid near Hoover Dam!)

Happy gingerbread man

Conor sporting two Santa headbands... one is never enough!

Happy girl!

My snowflake cookie

"Oh no!!" (He knows what's about to happen!)
Snowflakes, gingerbread man, and Rudolph

Ta da!

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