I love gingerbread.
That smell of it baking is just so homely and cosy. And what could be more Christmas ?! It also brings me memories of decorating gingerbread cookies at Christmas with the small Finnish children whose family I stayed with as an exchange student in Jyväskylä. That was a very special Christmas to me. Having come from Australia with our scorching summer Christmases, that wintery scandinavian Christmas with it's darkness lit by candles and Christmas lights was pure magic.
Whenever I bake gingerbread I find the voice of Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins sneaking into my head to say "mmmmm, gingerbread"! Do you know that part? When Mary Poppins is reading a her shopping list and finds gingerbread on it? Mary Poppins is a beloved movie at my house that has been watched countless times by all family members. The script is clearly etched into my brain forever!!
Until recently, I was quite exclusively a cookie baker and decorator. Last Christmas I was a whirlwind of flour and sugar making loads of cookies for other people. It was lovely and rewarding but quite exhausting, and I was left feeling like I'd neglected my own family Christmas a bit in the process. So! This year I'm trying a bit more balance. Making time for some other crafty things, enjoying the end of year fun stuff with my kids and keeping my cookies simple.
This week I've made my first Christmas gingerbread for the year. To be given as gifts (with my felt cookie ornaments) to teachers and friends.
I love the simple white icing with the gingerbread. They are inspired (very loosely) by the gorgeous designs of my talented cookie friend Haniela.
A woodland-ish mix of minis destined for pretty little gift bags.
And a special request from Honeybee #1 (my eldest daughter) - a gingerbread chef for her food technology teacher :) If you're wondering why this chef is wearing a beanie, it's meant to be one of the funny little caps the kids wear in class. Not sure I pulled that one off so well, but my Honeybee is happy, so that's my job done :)