These gingerbread cookies might sound like something you would make for a winter holiday, but the use of royal icing turns these gingerbread boys, girls, and animals into skeletons Halloween fun! This special holiday recipe comes to us from Every Day’s a Holiday by Heidi Kenney, courtesy of our friends at Chronicle Books.

You Will Need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large bowl
  • 1⁄3 cup butter
  • 1⁄3 cup nonhydroge
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3⁄4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1⁄8 tsp black pepper
  • 1⁄8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1⁄8 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour,plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup water
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters in people andanimal shapes

For the royal icing:

  • Small bowl
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup, plusmore as needed
  • 1⁄4 tsp almond extract
  • Resealable sandwich-size
  • Plastic bags, 1 for each person decorating

Method:
1. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat an oven to 375°F. 2

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add all the spices and beat well.

3. Add the baking soda, salt, flour, vinegar,and just enough water to make smooth, pliable dough. Roll into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Press ball into a flat disc and, using arolling pin, roll flat on a lightly flouredpiece of parchment paper to a 3⁄16-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut into shapesand transfer to the prepared baking sheet.Keep the uncooked dough in the refrigeratorbetween baking.

5. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Let cool completely.

6. To make the icing: In a small bowl, stir the confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth.

7. Beat in the corn syrup and almond extract until the icing has a smooth glossy consistency.If it is too thick, add a small amount of corn syrup until smooth.

8. Put the icing into resealable bags, one for each child helping with decorating.

9. Seal the bags and cut a small hole in one corner of each bag. Let your children pipe skeleton bones and skulls onto the cookies. You can research bones beforehand, or make them up as you go along.

10. Allow the cookies to set for several hours,until the royal icing is completely firm, and then store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Red Tricycle has teamed up with Chronicle Books to bring you kid-friendly craft projects that will engage, entertain, and wow your kiddos. If you like today’s kids craft project, make sure to  pick up the book Every Day’s a Holiday by Heidi Kenny, and don’t forget to visit Chronicle Books for even more great craft ideas.