On the eighth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Eight gingerbread people,
Seven layer cookies ,
Six Snickerdoodles ,
Five Sugar Cookies ,
Four Viennese Crescents ,
Three Candy Cane cookies ,
Two Toffee Squares ,
And a cookie shaped like a Christmas tree .
These soft gingerbread cookies are fun and easy to make and decorate.
Soft Gingerbread Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
- 3/4 cup molasses 
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/8 cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, mix together the molasses, brown sugar, water, butter, and egg until smooth.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, allspice, ginger, cloves and cinnamon, stir them into the wet mixture until all of the dry is absorbed. Cover the dough and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out into desired shapes with cookie cutters . Place cookies 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets .
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
- 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
- 2/3 cup water, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder 
- Gel-paste food coloring 
- Mix sugar, water, and meringue powder with a mixer on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. Icing should be the consistency of glue. (If icing is too thick, mix in a little more water. If icing is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar.)
- Add food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired color is achieved. If you are making more than 1 color, divide icing first.
Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 week. Stir before using.
After cookies are fully cooled, decorate with the icing, sprinkles, sugar pearls, or sparkling sugar crystals. For gift-giving, place in gingerbread house treat boxes .
Colored Sugars Set 
White Sugar Pearls 
Blue Sugar Pearls 
White Nonpareils 
Photo credit: Joana Petrova