Gingerbread baking – a first taste of the holidays

Round up family and friends! It’s December and the time for the (almost) mandatory baking of ginger thins is here.
A group of children and adults amid gingerbread baking centred around a very large sheet of dough on a kitchen table.
The hands of an apron-clad child hold a rolling pin, working a sheet of flour-dusted gingerbread dough with shapes cut out.
A tradition starting at an early age
It’s the quintessential flavour of the winter holidays to many Scandinavians. Gingerbread dates centuries back and the traditions surrounding it are today firmly established. Mostly eaten in the form of thin, brittle cookies, they’re often made at home and baking them involves everyone in the family. To many children, the yearly gingerbread sessions are their first experiences of kitchen collaboration (including liberal sampling of the dough).
Neatly rolled gingerbread dough on table; various pastry cutters involved in the process of cutting out shapes.
Gingerbread in all shapes and sizes
Once the dough is rolled into a thin sheet, it’s time for the pastry cutters. (In Swedish, the term for them is gingerbread moulds.) Bakers of all ages are welcome. Since the dough is supple and easy to handle, it’s easy to start over.
A child and an adult standing by a table on which is placed several finished gingerbread houses neatly decorated with icing.
Building a house of your own
The centrepiece is a given: the gingerbread house. Glued together with melted sugar and decorated with icing, it’s built to stand through the entire holiday season. Being deliciously edible, however, parts of the house are known to go missing. Theme, architecture and level of ambition is up to you. Happy baking!
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