Gingerbread People

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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!

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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
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and water; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening, agave, molasses, and flaxseed mixture; beat until combined.
  3. 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!

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And as you can see, she also loved taste-testing right from the bowl!

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She marveled at how sticky the dough was as we wrapped it in plastic to chill in the fridge.

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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!

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She thought this was delightful! She loved giving the people eyes and a “skirt”.

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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.

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Big brother Travis thought it looked so fun that he needed to join in the action!

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He was so proud of this very ornately-decorated fellow, with almond shoes and licorice shirt sleeves.

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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!

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You might consider ending the day with a read of the classic Gingerbread Man tale.


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