The sparkle in the eyes of children

Christmas at home
Photo by LAAVU, Kaija E. Wuollet

Can’t you just feel the anticipation in the faces of the children in the photo above? It was finally the day that they had been waiting for months and a mark that spring would arrive after the darkness as the Winter Solstice, which was on December 22nd this year had been passed. I’m not sure if they had actually been called to the table yet, but they couldn’t really help themselves. Afterall, Joulupukki or Santa Claus magically knows when we have eaten our dinner, and will not arrive before that time. Little did they know, that Joulupukki was actually sitting at the table with us, eating dinner.

Hugo waiting for dinnerSitting on santa's lap joulupukkiThe days before Christmas are often so full of things to do that it seems to me, that the Mother’s Christmas begins after the presents are unwrapped and everyone is playing or admiring their new things. But without the waiting and the anticipation, the pleasure of Christmas or the relaxation that can be almost felt in the air, be so great.

ruispipareitaBefore Christmas I promised a recipe for rye gingerbread cookies that I tried for the first time this year. Their flavor was delicious, and the cookie was a bit softer than the traditional gingerbread and chewy. The dough is bit more tricky than the traditional version and it needed quite a bit of flour when rolling out. This year I also made a traditional batch of dough, as gingerbread cookie baking is something that the children always enjoy, and the regular version of the dough is easier for little hands to handle.

gingerbread cookie baking
Rye Gingerbread Cookies

200 g/ 7 oz butter
2 dl/ 1 c molasses or cane sugar syrup
3 dl/ 1 and 1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp allspice
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
2 eggs
3 1/2 dl/ 1 and 1/2 c rye flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 dl/1 c almond flour/meal
5 dl/just over 2 c flour
dash salt

This recipe is originally from the Finnish food blog Kaikki äitini reseptit. I have changed it a bit to make it easier on the baker.

Put the molasses, sugar and spices into a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to bubble for a few minutes so that the sugar begins to melt. Remove from heat and add in the cold butter, stirring it every once in while until completely melted and combined. Add in the eggs one by one and stir until incorporated. Add the baking soda and salt to the rye flour and combine with the molasses mixture. Next add in the almond meal and finally the flour. Mix until it forms an even cookie dough. It will be very sticky at this time. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

When rolling out the cookie dough, I recommend that the dough is rolled out twice. It allows for more wheat flour to be absorbed into the dough and that way the cookies do not spread too much on the cookie sheet. These cookies will spread a bit more than traditional gingerbread, but only a bit more if rolled out twice.

Bake for about 4-6 minutes at 200 C/390 F.

rye gingerbread

Hoping your Christmas season was peaceful and a Happy New Year 2016!


    1. Thank you Suzanne! I really enjoyed the cookies, but then I usually like anything that has a bit of whole grain or rye in it to give it a more grainy flavor and texture. Happy New Year to you!

  1. Fun to see that anticipation in the children’s eyes, beautiful photos…I may have seen that “Santa” even in the US! He does get around after all:)
    Happy New Year to you all, hugs…

    1. Thank you Mimi! Today we carried the Christmas tree out today. Always a bit sad, but all of a sudden our living room seemed much larger! Christmas trees are usually kept around until epiphany and so now the season is officially over…a few decorations are still up as are the Christmas stars to bring light into the dark evenings.

    1. Thank you John! We had a lovely time with family and friends and of course the children to bring that magical sparkle. Today marked the end of the season as we carried the tree out…and cleaned the living room very thoroughly, rugs and all! I suppose it is smarter to do a heavy duty cleaning after Christmas rather than before…or that is what I keep telling myself! 😛 Hope you are having a wonderful New Year!

  2. Beautiful pictures – I made gingerbread cookies for the first time this year and used them to decorate my Christmas tree! They look good and smell good AND taste good 🙂
    Happy New Year!!

  3. Love the photos…I’m sure Christmas was an enjoyable day. I would love to know about the hammer cookies, is there a special significance to them or just a fun shape?

    1. Hi Karen! I decided on the hammer cookie cutter because I though it might be fun and one that the little ones could make with out much help from adults…and our two year old Hugo always knocks on the table with the hammer a couple of times before eating the cookie. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

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