Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quick and Easy Piping Bag for Gingerbread Cookies

So much goes on during the month of December that things have a way of getting away from you.  That is why the gingerbread cookies didn't get made until Christmas Eve last year!  However, everything turned out great because I enlisted the rest of the gang on Christmas Day to frost the cookies while we waited for our special dinner to cook.  In order for everyone to have a piping bag, I grabbed some freezer storage bags and cut them as shown.
It is best to only put a small amount of frosting in each bag as shown because the frosting will get very warm and messy from gently squeezing it with your hand.  I made a few extra and filled and kept them in the refrigerator so that we could swap them out when the frosting was too warm.  
We found that crushed peppermint sprinkled on top was very tasty and the next time I make this frosting, I will add a smidgen of peppermint extract for flavoring.  Here is the frosting recipe that worked out so well for us.  
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or peppermint!)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until mixture is spreading consistency.  Use frosting to outline gingerbread and to make cuffs, collars, belts, and shoes.  Yield 2 cups.
I find it makes Christmas Day much more relaxing if there is another festive activity going on while the meal is cooking.  Are there any favorite family-oriented traditions that you enjoy on Christmas Day?

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