Gingerbread cookies are the perfect baking project with a toddler. There’s messy dough to mix up, wonderful spices to smell, adorably-shaped cookie cutters, and little people to decorate. In sum, Veronika had lots of floury, sticky, sensory fun with this one!
To start, we needed to make the dough. She loved smelling each spice before we added it into the dry ingredients!
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 5 cups flour
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and water; let stand for 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening, agave, molasses, and flaxseed mixture; beat until combined.
- Combine the baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and flour in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Veronika loved watching the dough mix up in our stand mixer!
And as you can see, she also loved taste-testing right from the bowl!
She marveled at how sticky the dough was as we wrapped it in plastic to chill in the fridge.
Once the dough had chilled, we rolled it out on a generously floured surface, then used gingerbread man cookie cutters to cut out our little people. I gave Veronika a plate filled with decorating goodies: raisins, almonds, licorice strips, and small jelly bean candies. It was up to her to decorate!
She thought this was delightful! She loved giving the people eyes and a “skirt”.
Since I knew her cookies risked getting broken or mashed, I worked alongside her to ensure we had enough people for a few real batches of cookies.
Big brother Travis thought it looked so fun that he needed to join in the action!
He was so proud of this very ornately-decorated fellow, with almond shoes and licorice shirt sleeves.
Once the people have been fully adorned, bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. And then comes the best part of all; it was time for a taste test!
You might consider ending the day with a read of the classic Gingerbread Man tale.