This year, with the holiday baking, I mostly stuck to tried and true winners.
There was only one really new thing on the treat plate this season. Dad and I used to construct a gingerbread church every Christmas, growing up. I had meant to try and make it again, a few years ago but both the cookie dough recipe and the building pattern have been lost. I’ve tried a few other recipes, over the years, but never found one that really worked for me. With any type of house construction, you need a dough that will cut clean and stay in shape, so the pieces will fit properly and I wanted one that also tasted good! I’ve been reading “Bake at 350” for a while now and tried her regular sugar cookie recipe early in the year. It was an excellent cut-out cookie! Tasty, easy to work with and held it’s shape when cooked. Even though it was a winner, I still wanted something a bit more seasonal. When she posted a spiced sugar cookie last month, I decided to try it. Since I wanted something for gifts, I designed a simple, small birdhouse. They are only about 8” high, so quite petite. The dough was great to work with, but I did cheat and doubled the called for amounts of spice since I wanted it to have a bit more flavour. I was able to get four houses per batch of dough. It cooked clean and they went together quite easily. I kept the decoration simple as well and stuck to white royal icing. The fronts were done first, the houses assembled and then the roofs were done. For ease of transport and display they were set on a foil-wrapped square of cardboard and then wrapped in cellophane with a bit of curling ribbon. I was really satisfied with the final product and people seemed happy to receive them!