Just like true hippie parents, my mom and dad raised my brother and I to celebrate the solstice every year. We do Christmas as well, of course, but we would always have some sort of party or special event to mark the shortest day of the year. For the past 6 years or so, we've started a tradition of making gingerbread sun cookies with our own special flair.
Each person in my family is an artist in some way- my dad paints and composes music, my mom is a children's book illustrator, my brother draws and performs in a youth circus, and I dance and take photos. The combination of all of these creative talents makes for some very fun and unique cookies.
Gingerbread Solstice Cookies
makes 4 large suns
1/3 cup earth balance
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup water
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1. Cream together the margarine, brown sugar, molasses and 1/2 cup of water in a large bowl.
2. sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices in another bowl and then add the dry ingredients to the wet. Add more water if dough is too crumbly.
3. Turn the dough out of the bowl and form into 4 equal balls. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350º and grease two baking sheets. Roll out the dough and cut or mold each piece of your sun.
5. Bake suns for about 10-12 minutes or until puffy and slightly browned.
You don't have to just make suns with the dough- you can also roll it out and make cut out cookies! But just look at how gorgeous these turned out.
|Clockwise from top left: My sun, my dad's, my mom's and my brother's fish/sun.|
This is such a great family tradition. We put on some carols, shape our suns, then watch a Christmas movie or just sit around the tree and chat while the heavenly smell of gingerbread baking wafts through the house. It keeps us cozy on the shortest, darkest day of the year.
Only one more day until Christmas! Can you believe it? Today is going to be full of so much last-minute baking and cooking. I will be posting my family's all-time favorite Christmas cookie recipe soon, so stay tuned!