Monday, December 3, 2012

Gingerbread Cookie Gift Tags

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." 

~Peg Bracken

Hey everyone! Look I have a shiny new blog! Thanks to Rekita from A Lovely Army Wife, her business is called Designed Lovely Studio where she does awesome things with blogs like she did with mine! I highly reccomend her, if you need a new look like I did.
I'm loving these gingerbread cookie tags! They taste great, full of ginger and spice, and who doesn't want a little cookie with their gift?

These cookies have a good amount of spice, if you are making them for children, you may want to reduce the amounts a little.

These can be used as a gift tag with an initial like I've done, or you can write out names on them with the icing. These can even be used as Christmas tree ornaments. (I wouldn't eat them after that, since I've made these prior to Thanksgiving, but if it was a week before Christmas, I might eat them, even if they are slightly stale from sitting out.)

Spray the measuring cup with nonstick spray before pouring in the molasses so it slides right out. This recipe calls for 3/4 a cup plus 2 Tablespoons of molasses, I just eyeballed it in this one cup measure.

But yes, these are totally edible. Keep them in an airtight container until you wrap the gift.

Adding the flour

The dough is easy to work with. Just use two sheets of parchment to roll out the dough, so it doesn't stick. You can't use too much flour when rolling these out, since you don't want them to turn out white.

The dough is sort of stiff, not too bad. It's easy to work with. Here I'm dividing the dough into thirds to wrap in plastic and let chill for an hour.

Cut a hole out to put a ribbon through, with either a straw or the end of a pastry tip.

 Roll the dough out quite thin, 1/8th of an inch. This isn't super easy to do, especially between parchment. Some of mine are sort of thick. No problem, if yours are thicker you need to just make sure your hole is big enough, so when they bake the hole doesn't close up.

Rolling out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper

Put the cookies on a parchment paper (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Then place a second piece of parchment on the unbaked cookies with another baking sheet on top of that before going in the oven so cookies stay flat while baking.

Cut out whatever shapes you want, initials, here I did a star with an initial inside. My alphabet cookie cutters are sort of big, so to do a cutout like this, I needed to make the outside shape pretty large.

These cookies are crisp, they are meant to be. I tried to under cook my cookies slightly to make them soft. Why not? What could be the problem with that, you say? Well, with my softer cookies I had a hard time stringing a ribbon through them, I had a few break. The softer cookies are just more delicate. So crispy are better and easier to work with.

If you are using thick ribbon for wrapping, it's so much easier to attach the cookies with a small piece of wire, or a small ribbon attached to the thick ribbon. It's a chore to get thick ribbon through the hole and not have a break.

Cut a hole for stringing on top with a straw or a pastry tip if you have one. A number 12 worked the best for me, some of these have a smaller hole. Ready for the oven.

Wrap up the gift, attach the gingerbread to ribbon, and watch everyone smile when they receive their special gift.
Happy Holidays!  I wish you a beautiful and joy filled season!

Right out of the oven

Sprinkling the frosted cookies with edible glitter. Use a toothpick to keep the hole clear.

Frosted and decorated, waiting to dry

Gingerbread Gift Tags

adapted from Martha Stewart Living

makes 30-40 gift tags, you can easily halve the recipe if you want to make less

Gingerbread Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) (228 g.) unsalted butter

1 cup (200 g.) dark brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Ginger

1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. allspice

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup (177 ml) plus 2 Tablespoons molasses - I used a 1 cup measure and eyeballed it

6 cups (900 g.) all purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients

2 cups (200 g.) sifted powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk (adding in more if needed for proper spreading consistency)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract - use clear vanilla (or omit it) if you want the icing to be totally white, regular vanilla will make it beige, or you can use lemon juice to give it a little lemon flavor.

sprinkles or other decorations for topping

Directions for cookies

In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and brown sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in the spices and salt. Beat in the eggs and molasses, making sure to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Add flour and mix on low speed to combine. Divide dough into thirds, press to flatten and wrap in plastic. Place in fridge and let chill for an hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 4. Lightly flour 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll out the first piece of dough to 1/8 an inch between the two pieces of parchment. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Initials, or a large cookie with an initial cut out of the middle. Or any shape you want! Cut a hole for hanging with a straw, or a size 10 or 12 pastry tip. Using a spatula, carefully transfer cookies to parchment lined, or Silpat lined, baking sheet. Cover cookies with parchment paper then top it with a second baking sheet to keep cookies flat while baking. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Keep the baking sheet on top for about 20 minutes while cooling. Let the cookies cool completely before frosting. Frost with the frosting recipe provided if desired. Keep cooled cookies (if frosted make sure they are totally dry, overnight is good) in an airtight container before using.

Frosting Directions

In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar with milk (start with 1-2 tablespoons, you will likely need more milk for the perfect spreading consistency). If you are adding sprinkles or other decorations, put them on right after frosting the cookies. Then let dry completely before using.

If you want to write names on the cookies, tint the frosting to desired color, use a pastry bag and writing tip, or put frosting into a small baggie and cut a small hole in the corner for writing. If you are writing on a cookie that has been frosted already, make sure that frosting has dried first.


Cooking Rookie said...

They are adorable! What a beautiful idea :-)

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

That's a really cute idea, I'd have to make a few batches, my lot eat the cookies as quick as I can bake them!

Anonymous said...

first of all, I LOVE the new blog! It's gorgeous!

also, this is a really cute idea. I'm lucky to get my presents wrapped but one day I may try!

keri @ shaken together said...

Pretty new design and I love these tags!!

Tessacotton said...

Hey from tessacotton! Love your creation. I would be so thrilled if you would link up to my new, Christmas themed linky party!

Unknown said...

This is such a great idea! I love personalized tags for presents. I would love for you to come over and link up to my new linky party "Show Me Your Plaid Monday's"!

Unknown said...

Thanks For linking at Show Me Your Plaid Monday's! I am pinning each post for all to see! I hope that you come back each week!

Unknown said...

Beautiful! I'll be pinning this but not sure if I'll be using the idea myself... they wouldn't last 2 seconds around my kids (or husband!)

Angela said...

Yum! These look so pretty and festive...not to mention delicious!

Printabelle said...

This is such a great idea, I love how you decorated the cookies, too! I don't know anyone who wouldn't love a gift with an edible cookie tag attached! Thanks very much for linking up!

Susan said...

This is a really wonderful idea - such beautiful results! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday's Table!

Unknown said...

You rock! What a clever idea! I am pinning this because some day.....:)

Also loving you new look, absolutely awesome!

Unknown said...

You rock! What a clever idea! I am pinning this because some day.....:)

Also loving you new look, absolutely awesome!

Diana of Diana Rambles said...

I love them, especially the star with the letter cut out. I'd love you to come link up at my Pin Me Linky Party.

Unknown said...

The new blog design looks great. Nice, clean, and pretty! I think these gingerbread cookie tags are a fantastic idea! How clever!
Thanks so much for sharing on Super Sweet Saturday.

Revamp Spunky Rena said...

Hi Lovely, I'm your new follower from Blog Hop.
Love your awesome blog. Feel free to check out & follow my blog @

Mariel said...

So clever! I'd love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday - Tuesday) at 'Or so she says ...' Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

These are really cute and I bet really tasty! Just started following you! I would love if you would share this adorable idea at my blog hop!

Emily Thompson said...

adorable!!! Your packages are so pretty!!! Thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap-Time creations. Your project is being featured this week. Link will go live Monday night at 8:30 central time!

Sara said...

I love this idea! I have been wanting to try something like this as ornaments...I didn't even think about using them as gift tags!!

Valerie said...

Look adorable and sound delicious. I might have to try my hand at these!


Jocelyn said...

That is a really cute idea and I bet it makes everything smell so good too!!!

Rhonda's Favorites and Flops said...

I want a gift from you so bad, it can be an empty box. Too cute.

The Mandatory Mooch said...

These are terrific, Melissa. I love them so much that I'm going to FEATURE this post on Tasty Thursdays this week. Thanks for linking up. The party will be live again tonight. Thanks, Nichi

Kristin Dawn said...

Hey, new follower from the Blog Party over at Sincerely, Paula. I love this idea, it's so cute! Can't wait to give it a try. :)