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Tips to bake the perfect holiday gingerbread man cookie

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We know the goal – a gingerbread man cookie – that looks like…a real gingerbread man.  Not one that requires our friends and family to use their imagination to understand what our creation is.  The bakers at Sweet Flour wanted to share their tips and tricks to bake the quintessential holiday cookie…the gingerbread man!  One thing to keep in mind…it might take a few tries to get it the way you want; however, we hope you’ll remember that a cookie that is not perfect in your eyes will still undoubtedly make those who are the recipient of the delicious gift smile.  And that is the real goal.

  1. Have your recipe, ingredients and tools needed ready to go. This means out, on your counter, easily accessible.
  2. Follow your favourite recipe (ours is a Sweet Flour secret).  Once the dough is made and chilled per the instructions, please ensure it is chilled well before rolling.  This is key.
  3. Roll your dough to ¼” thickness.  Too thin and the cookies will break, too thick and the cookies will not bake properly.
  4. Choose simple shape cookie cutters.  Unless you are an artist in the making, we have learned that the simpler the shape and design, the easier they are to cut and decorate.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool completely once baked before decorating. If not, your cookie decorations will start to “melt” which is a bit of an impediment when it comes to the perfect gingerbread man.
  6. To decorate the cookies, have your icing and decorations and/or candies ready. Again, this means on your counter, easily accessible.
  7. For simple cookies, use one colour icing and have fun with different  candies, sprinkles and dried fruit to decorate them.  Though the temptation is big to create a masterpiece on your first try, trust us that it is best to start with simple designs so you can get the hang of it.
  8. Make sure to add on the decorations while the icing is still soft enough to act like glue.  It’s all about timing.  We need the cookie cool before we add the icing, and we also need to move relatively quickly to decorate before the icing hardens.
  9. For fancier designs, go big and bold.  Use different coloured icing and rolled fondant to add clothes, different designs and faces to your cookie
  10. Allow your icing to dry on the cookies before storing them in an air-tight container.  Patience friends.  Preserve your masterpiece.  Be sure the icing is truly dry before you store/gift/share them.

So, what do you think ?