Fairies made of flowers and hot air balloons made of leaves hang from the ceiling while below are little abodes made of nuts, bark, fruits, and moss, cozily situated among the garden plants. Here is the 'Porcupine Place'.
These snowflake cookies were inspired by the earthy fairy houses: decorated with detail on a down-to-earth gingerbread cookie. The gingerbread cookies are the same recipe as the Molasses Gingerbread Cookies and Hogwarts Gingerbread Castle, and will make your house smell like clove and cinnamon. They are more spice than sweet. The royal icing was piped with only a #2 tip.
These cookies make a great holiday gift or addition to a holiday dessert table. I'd like to think that the fairies might eat a miniature version of these... :)
Molasses Gingerbread Cookies
from Martha Stewart
yields about 5 dozen cookies
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Divide dough into 3 portions, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
Cut out desired shapes. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes.
Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Decorate to your heart's content with Royal Icing.
Royal Icing (Outline Consistency for Piping)
yields 3 cups icing
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoon meringue powder
6 tablespoons warm water
Combine in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes.