Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Gingerbread Tree


The gifts are bought, almost all wrapped, greeting cards sent and the house is decorated - with a week to spare!  Other than a few more cookies that I'd like to bake, I am feeling pretty good about the holidays - especially since we are in for more snow and bitterly cold temperatures this weekend.  During days like that, it feels good to snuggle indoors in warm fleece and slippers and be able bake and create.



Each December I like to try at least one new recipe or DIY with cookies.  This Gingerbread Cookie Tree idea was found in Jamie Oliver's magazine and on his website here.  I could not resist making one of my own.  I used my own recipe for gingerbread cookie recipe which is not to sweet, not to spicy but just right and enjoyed by our family.  I used my snowflake cookie cutter set to cut out large, medium and small stars.


First, a cone shape is made with cardboard or heavy-duty craft paper.  I covered my cone with brown construction paper so the spaces between the cookies would not show up quite as much.  If you want your tree to be edible, I would suggest wrapping the cone with plastic film wrap.  I didn't, since mine was going to be used strictly as a decoration.

I started 'glueing' the cookies to the cone starting at the bottom with the largest cookies and working my way up to the top with medium cookies and then the smallest ones at the top.  I broke off bits and pieces here and there to get the cookies to fit together better and used some of the pieces to fill in holes around the tree too. I used a egg white Gingerbread House frosting as my 'glue' and it worked beautifully.  When the frosting was 'set' I added some artificial berries to the tree and wrapped it with tiny LED lights. 


This would be a great holiday project for the older kids in your family (or for the kid in you).  Feel free to use any cut-out cookie recipe you like!  It was fun and fairly easy to put together with the gingerbread house frosting recipe I found which worked really well.  Not nearly as pretty as Jamie's but not too bad for a first try :)

Not certain if I'll be back here before Christmas but, if not, please have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah or Wintermas :) from my family to yours!



My Gingerbread Cookies

Printable Recipe

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3-1/2 (approx) cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Cream sugar and butter together until smooth. Add next 5 ingredients and mix until just blended. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix just until incorporated.

Pat dough into a ball and wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap or a plastic zipper bag.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to several days.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F. 

Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half.  Roll each half out on a floured surface to 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes. Scraps can be gathered and rolled out again. 

Sprinkle with colored sugar and add cinnamon decorations, if desired.

Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes.

Frosting for 'Gluing' Gingerbread Houses or Trees

Printable Recipe

This makes enough to put together one small Gingerbread House or one Gingerbread Tree

1 large egg white
1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar (approximately)

In a large clean bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer until blended.

Add powdered sugar about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing on high speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.

Keep adding powdered sugar and beating until mixture is very thick but still spreadable. You may use less or more powdered sugar to achieve the desired thickness depending on the size of your egg white.

If not using right away, mixture can be covered tightly and refrigerated until ready to use. Stir thoroughly before using.




42 comments:

  1. My dear nana..absolutely show stopping.
    I love that Jamie..I hold look into his Christmas magazines and books.
    I follow him on IG..I am smitten with his adorable family..a match made in heaven his lovely girl next door beauty of a wife and Littles..cute like your handsome little gents.
    You have photographed the tree so prettily..what is funny is that I bought a cone like this to skewer garlic knots for Christmas Eve..little pots of marinara at the base sitting on Rosemary..fingers crossed it turns out half as well as your beautiful tree🌲

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    1. I will have to follow him too :) I used to love watching his show where I first heard the term a 'knob' of butter - LOL. I can't wait to see your garlic knot tree! What a cute idea! Thank you, Monique!

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  2. Really cute, I love the lights too! Merry Christmas Susan, have fun with the kids:@)

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  3. how lovely is your decorated tree ! I'm sure Christmas time in your house will be merry and full of flavors ! A warm hug from Trieste

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    1. Thank you very much, Chiara. We are ready to celebrate :) Warm hug, Dear.

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  4. Susan !! This is absolutely beautiful !
    I love it !

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    1. Thanks so much, Gloria! It was fun to make too :)

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  5. That is uniquely darling! Wonder if a sugar cone would work for a shorter tree...we have some sugar cones that are probably six to eight inches high. Yes, it is already brutally cold. Not looking forward to a weekend of it.

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    1. I think it would if you have some tiny cookie cutters, Vee! Perfect color, that's for certain ;) The whole thing would be edible! I think there will be a lot of holiday plans disrupted this weekend :(

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  6. Your gingerbread tree looks so cute...perfect for Christmas! Susan...Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones :)

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    1. Thank you, Juliana, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family also ♥

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  7. o this is stunning and ever so festive!

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    1. Thank you, Angie! So many different possibilities with the idea too :)

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  8. Hi Susan, this tree is beautiful, you can tell it was made with care and love, really a masterpiece. Sounds like you are a very organized woman. I remember watching Jamie when he first started out. He was riding a motorcycle I think, cooking and then all his friends would come over at eat and Juls would always show up at the end. It's like we all watched him growing up.

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    1. There are definitely things I would do differently next time but I was happy with it ;) Great Jamie memory! Thank you, Cheri!

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  9. I love Jamie Oliver, and your tree came out great! Merry Christmas to you and your family Susan.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! I'm sure it will be a very special one for your and your first grandson too ♥ Merry Christmas, to you and your family, Debbie!

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  10. Love your tree and how you have decorated it. You just mentioned that you might do some things differently next time, would you mind sharing if you think they are noteworthy.

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen, and thanks for asking. I should have mentioned that in my post. I think the one thing I would do differently would be to try and layer the cookies a little better and also to layer in smaller cookies to fill in the bare spots. I also used Gorilla Glue to add the berries and leaves and had forgotten that it dries white which what I was trying to avoid with the brown cone and darker icing glue. I should have 'glued' them on with the icing recipe instead.

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    2. Thanks so much for the tips, they are much appreciated. I just wanted to stop back by and wish you and your family Merry Christmas.

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  11. Beautiful! You are so creative. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas. Stay warm!

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    1. Oh my gosh, it's cold, Julie! It feels more like January here than December this year. Two winter storms in two weeks too! At least it will definitely be a White Christmas :) Merry Christmas wishes to you also, Julie!

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  12. Merry Christmas, sweet friend! I think your gingerbread tree is beautiful and so festive! You did a great job! Perhaps next year I'll make one. So pretty! Adorable photo of your grandsons.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lorraine ♥ It was such a fun project and could make a lovely centerpiece too. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

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  13. Oh my goodness, Susan, your gingerbread tree is utterly amazing and totally beautiful. I am a complete loser compared to all that you have done for Christmas this year. Wow, what an inspiration. Thank you for sharing this recipe and I wish you a most blessed and beautiful "Natale' ",
    xo
    Roz

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    1. Thanks so much, Roz! I really haven't done that much :) Merry Christmas to you and your family, Roz ♥

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  14. It sounds like you're ready for the big day for sure! Me too! Your gingerbread tree is awesome, love it. And the Santa pic is great! I'd love to post our grandson's photo with Santa but his parents are totally against posting his pics. Take care and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Pam! I totally understand how some people feel about photos being published. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  15. I like your gingerbread tree more than Jamie's. It's simpler and prettier, not so fancy. :) Hope you have a lovely holiday Susan! Enjoy the snow!

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    1. Thanks so much, Chris! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas with your family!

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  16. The gingerbread tree is really nice! You are right, this would be a great family project with older kids. Love it! The santa photo is beautiful.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Velva

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    1. Thank you, Velva! It's a great time of year to have little ones in the family ♥

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  17. You are an artist! What a gorgeous creation. I hope those gorgeous kids appreciated it and if they didn't, that's OK. After all they are kids! I bet you had heaps of fun making it! Can you preserve it?

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    1. Ha, they didn't even pay any attention to it when they were over last weekend. Oh well :) My husband and I are really enjoying it in the evening with the lights on. Thank you, Abbe!

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  18. Not too bad? Is an understatement coming from you!' We have to come over to your house and enjoy watching you make these gorgeous edible Xmas desserts! Sometimes it is more fun when we are with friends - right? Love you sue ! Have a very Merry Christmas!! See you soon! Xoxo Anna and Liz

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    1. Wouldn't that be fun? I don't have anyone near me that enjoys baking and creating like it do :( Merry Christmas, Ladies, and thank you for your friendship ♥

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  19. What a fine and elegant tree you made Susan! Your grandsons look very handsome! Happy Christmas and Joy in your hearts!

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    1. Thank you very much, Katerina! The boys are so excited for Christmas. The two oldest ones at least ;) Merry Christmas to you and your family also, Katerina!

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  20. Happy new year Susan !!
    A big hug dear <3

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  21. Your gingerbread tree is gorgeous, Susan! I will definitely keep this in mind to make with my kids next year. They will just love putting it together...and then eating it! :) Happy holidays to you and your family. Love the Santa picture with those handsome boys!

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