Tatjana and I are still so busy shopping and enjoying our time together while she is home that I ran out of time to get a new blog post written today. Instead, I thought I’d rerun a little fun we had baking up some holiday cheer a few years ago.

Holiday shoppers

Holiday shoppers

If you haven’t already noticed by now (from the gazillion Christmas posts) – I LOVE this time of year! For me, it is not about religion, or the commercial aspect of the holiday. It stems from some of my fondest memories of my family being together and always joyful at this particular time of year.


Nothing like Christmas lights to get me in the Christmas spirit!

Something as simple as a stroll through the neighborhood to look at all the Christmas lights brings back the majesty and wonder I felt as a child. As my wise friend Marianne pointed out last night – it is a time when so many people across the globe hold charity in their hearts, and the possibility for peace on earth feels closest to becoming a reality.
Tatjana and her gingerbread house

Tatjana and her gingerbread house

Another favorite family tradition I share with my daughter is making gingerbread together this time of year. Since these have been tough financial times for so many, it is a great way to make something that will put a smile on friends faces without breaking the bank, so I thought I would republish this video Tatjana and I made last year in plenty of time for you to do just that.
One of the reasons I remember Christmas with such warmth is I loved baking with my Auntie Vera, then continuing that tradition with Tatjana. It is a wonderful way to bond with your children in addition to creating gifts. You’ve gotta love those win/win situations!
Uplifted bittersweet memories

Uplifted bittersweet memories

It is also inevitably a time we remember loved ones lost. Making these gingerbread cookies together helped uplift those bittersweet memories. I hope making them does the same for you!
Keith Haring Gingerbread Cookies
Keith Haring Gingerbread Art

Servings: 12

  • parchment paper for tracing and cutting guide
  • images you would like to make in gingerbread
  • all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Karo syrup
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound powdered sugar


1).Tatjana suggested she find some images online that I would then trace onto parchment paper for a cookie cutting guides in the dough.

2). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour through all-spice together in a large mixing bowl.

3). Melt brown sugar, vegetable shortening (or butter), and Karo syrup together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until combined. Then add to dry ingredients while still warm, using a mixer with dough hook, stir until just incorporated. Dough will be crumbly, but will come together as you roll it out still warm.

4). Dust the counter with flour to prevent dough sticking to it. Dough must still be warm as you roll it out. If it cools too quickly place it into a warm oven for 2-3 minutes to soften, then gently roll it out to an even 1/8″ thickness. Place parchment stencil over dough, and cut around edges carefully with a paring knife. Carefully transfer gingerbread shapes to a nonstick baking sheet.

5). Bake in preheated oven 10-15 minutes, until dark golden brown all over. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, then carefully loosen edges using a spatula to place onto cooling racks to cool completely.

6). While gingerbread is cooling, mix royal icing ingredients together in mixer fitted with a wire whisk. Start slowly, so powdered sugar dose not fly out everywhere, and gradually increase speed to medium high. Beat for 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Add a little more water to loosen consistency, or add a little more powdered sugar to stiffen until you have the desired consistency.

7). Fill a pastry bag fitted with desired tip, and decorate gingerbread to match your original print outs from online.
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