Like many citizens this time of year, I am currently caught up in the swirl of December Holiday Business. It can get a little stressful. However, one day (almost) every December, my sister, Sylvia, and I put everything else aside and spend the day decorating Moravian spice cookies. I shared the process for making these amazing sweets before, way back in 2014 when various circumstances made it impossible for Syllie and I to decorate together. Here are links to the process of making these cookies. However, the decorating in part 3 is pretty weak.
This year, Syllie and I went all out and decorated like pros. I think we absolutely outdid ourselves. Here is how it all went down.
Our usual arrangement is I make the cookies and Syllie gets the decorating stuff. Here are the blank cookies, full of spicy potential. Syllie stocked up on confectioner’s sugar, nonpareils, cinnamon imperials, colored sugar (including metallic silver and gold!) and candy eyes. At the last minute, an irresistible sale at the grocery store prompted me to pick up some star shaped sprinkles, and some “giant” nonpareils.
Saturday morning, after tea and a review of the game plan, we got to work on the decorating. We warmed up with some simple, classic designs. Importantly, this let us test the texture of the icing. We use a super simple mix of confectioner’s sugar and water. After we got the texture just right, the real decorating started. You will notice the broken tree on the right hand side of the upper picture. We figured out how to use that… You’ll see.
I forgot how many cookies this recipe makes.
So many, many cookies. While we decorated, we created back stories for each of the gingerbread folk. Are you ready for this?
This is DJ Sparkle Pants. She has shown up for the last three years or so. This year she is debuting her latest hit- a mash up of Vince Gueraldi’s “O Tanenbaum” and House of Pain’s “Jump Around”. It’s pretty epic.
This is DJ Sparkle Pants’s boyfriend du jour, Daffyd. As you can see, he is a football hooligan from Wales. You can buy various devices to make thin lines of icing on a cookie. Syllie and I have determined that drizzling a narrow ribbon of icing off a fork is the simplest and least expensive method. You can fix your lines with a toothpick, if needed.
Por supesto, eso es una galleta de los muertos.
This is Stanly Merkle of Yonkers, NY. He is living in Oahu under the alias “Stani Lili”. He charges exorbitant amounts of money to gullible rich people who attend the Mindfulness seminars he conducts.
This is Chad. He’s, like, a surfer, ya know? He thinks Stanly’s appropriation of Polynesian culture is totally not cool. You should be you, bro.
If you know the words, sing along- Old Odin we will follow/ In the blood and gore we’ll wallow/ ‘Till we wind up in Valhall-o/ And that’s good enough for me!/ Gimme that old time religion…
Tara was born with albinism, but her condition has not quenched her entrepreneurial spirit. She has designed a full line of fun, stylish, sun-blocking fashions for all ages. Note that her dress has pockets. Tara is super smart.
This is Bo. Bo is a dumba$$. He got drunk, then tried to cut down a Christmas tree. He not only got a crumby tree, he also sawed off his fluffing leg. What a dumba$$. (Never give up on a broken cookie, my DIYeters. They can be the most fun of all to decorate.)
Martha has worked in accounts receivable for 20+ years. She always coordinates the Ugly Sweater Contest at the Holiday party. She usually wins, too.
OMGodzilla, it’s David Bowie!
He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake (but not how far away you are because he has no depth perception); Santaclops is coming to town.
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! It’s a ZOMBIE!!!!!! Get Chris Hardwick to talk about it!!!! This was the last cookie we decorated; it is sort of a tradition within our tradition. The cookie gets slathered with icing and all the toppings that have spilled onto the table get pressed on to it. If you do this, make sure you start the decorating process with an impeccably clean table.
I have a feeling you are busy this month. I know I am. I strongly advise you to make time for fun. It is always worth it. What fun traditions are happening in your kitchens? Share in the comments!