One of my favorite Christmas ideas for preschoolers is making gingerbread cookies. I fondly remember baking cookies with my own mother every holiday season. Making gingerbread cookies is one of many Christmas ideas for preschoolers that allows young children to learn about food and cooking as well as to begin a seasonal tradition with mom and dad. Plus, when the time comes for Christmas meal planning, gingerbread cookies make a festive dessert! My favorite gingerbread cookie recipe to make with my own daughter is the following recipe that I tweaked from a traditional recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups of dark molasses
- 1 cup of packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup of cold water
- 1/3 cup of vegetable shortening or butter
- 7 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- 1 tablespoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- Mix the molasses, brown sugar, water, and shortening in a large mixing bowl until well-combined.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least three hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Sprinkle flour on a sheet of waxed paper.
- Place a ball of the cookie dough on the flour waxed paper.
- Sprinkle flour on top of the ball of dough.
- Cover the dough ball with another sheet of waxed paper.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut the cookie dough into shapes using floured cookie cutters.
- Place the gingerbread cookies on a baking sheet about two inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for ten to twelve minutes or until no indentation remains in the center of the cookies when touched.
- Allow the cookies to cool slightly before removing from the cookie sheet with a spatula.
- Cooled cookies may also be iced with cream cheese icing.
- Store any uneaten gingerbread cookies in an airtight container.
For those parents out there looking for Christmas ideas for preschoolers, I highly recommend starting the tradition of baking gingerbread cookies. I know that I always look back fondly on the time I spent with my mom making holiday cookies. I hope my daughter looks back on making Christmas cookies with me just as fondly.
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe © 2012 Heather Johnson
Creaming the Butter © 2012 Heather Johnson
Pouring in the Molasses © 2012 Heather Johnson
Adding the Brown Sugar © 2012 Heather Johnson
Wet Ingredients © 2012 Heather Johnson
Dry Ingredients © 2012 Heather Johnson
Gingerbread Dough © 2012 Heather Johnson
Rolling the Gingerbread Dough © 2012 Heather Johnson
Cutting the Gingerbread © 2012 Heather Johnson
Unbaked Gingerbread Cookies © 2012 Heather Johnson
Baking the Gingerbread Cookies © 2012 Heather Johnson
Gingerbread Cookies © 2012 Heather Johnson