Gingerbread Nativity and the Reason for the Season

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Gingerbread Nativity

Gingerbread houses with their pretty decorations all covered in frosting and candy have always fascinated me. These edible works of art can range from simple cottages to elaborate castles. During the Christmas season, gingerbread kits can easily be found but Gingerbread Nativity is somewhat of a rarity. I was delighted to chance upon this German set recently and could not help but bring it home as I also do collect Nativity sets.

Nativities have a timeless charm. They depict the first Christmas and the birth of the Christ Child. The angels proclaim, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to all men.” For without Christ, there is no Christmas.

Gingerbread Nativity

Anyway, these awesome cookie molds came with a gingerbread recipe which is a little different from the American gingerbread. It calls for honey and treacle instead of molasses. It also uses gingerbread spice. I decided to give it a try. Since I did not have treacle or gingerbread spice, I had to change things up a bit. I reduced the brown sugar and used all honey instead. For the spices, I used a mixed of ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. I was very pleased at the results.

Gingerbread Nativity

Making the dough, cutting the little figures, and slabs of walls were easy enough. Transferring the huge base slab to the cookie sheet was a little tricky. A third of it did break off and had to be re-attached on the cookie sheet. Good thing they all came out of the oven intact.

Next, came the decorating of the figures and the construction of the manger. An extra pair of hands was needed to put the large sections of “wall” together. I had to enlist the help of Ro-Ri San.

Gingerbread Nativity

Here is Mary and baby Jesus.

Gingerbread Nativity

These are the Wise Men.

Gingerbread Nativity

The palm trees were fun to decorate but were a little top heavy and difficult to keep erect. We had to “glue” them down with a little frosting.

Gingerbread Nativity

The kit did not come with a star and so we used a small star shaped cookie cutter to make our own Star of Bethlehem. We attached it to the roof using a toothpick.

Gingerbread Nativity

The process was very time consuming but we had so much fun putting it together. Finally, it was all done and we could stand back to admire the outcome. :)

Gingerbread Nativity

Please visit again on Thursday for my Christmas post as I will be sharing some family pictures and also a special Nativity in my collection. In the meantime, here is the recipe for the gingerbread cookies. Please cut and decorate as desired.

Gingerbread Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (160g) honey
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • ¼ cup (45g) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 sticks (1 cup/230g) butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 cups (600g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

Bring honey, water, and brown sugar in a small saucepan to a boil. Stir in ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add butter and salt and stir till butter is melted and well combined. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

Combine all-purpose flour and baking soda in a large bowl. Pour cooled mixture in flour. Mix with a spatula and then knead into a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.

Place on baking sheet and bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

http://www.rotinrice.com/2011/12/gingerbread-nativity-and-the-reason-for-the-season/


Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)



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36 Responses

  1. What a unique gingerbread house! So perfectly decorated, it’s a work of art!

  2. Susan says:

    What a wonderful post! A beautiful and charming Nativity, it lifted my heart. A great recipe which I am going to try – I will probably make just plain cookies rather than attempt to re-create the Nativity at this advanced date before Christmas! I really enjoy your blog.
    May you have a most blessed Christmas.

    • Biren says:

      So glad to hear that you found it uplifting. :) Ye, I will probably make this gingerbread again as it tasted really good. Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  3. Lisa H says:

    This is gorgeous Nativity gingerbread :)

  4. Biren, Very pretty gingerbread house. Love the decoration :)
    I just made gingerbread cookies with honey too. The dough was so easy to handle and tastes good.

  5. Amelia says:

    Hi Biren, wow..your ginger bread house so pretty and cute. Very neat decoration, 2 thumbs up for you. Have a nice day.

  6. I love that!!!!! Well done, Biren!

    Happy holidays!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s for Dinner
    http://www.mawhats4dinner.com

  7. Wow!! You certainly did a fantastic job with that Gingerbread Nativity! I could never decorate cookies that nicely! I also like the gingerbread recipe… love treacle. :) Hope you have a joyful and wonderful Christmas!!!

  8. I just purchased a prefabricated gingerbread house for my daughter and her friend to make the other day. I’ll be posting photos of her efforts later today. You are a better women than I for making it all from scratch!! I absolutely love the Nativity…truly the reason for the season! So beautiful and inspiring Biren!! Have a very Merry Christmas my friend♥

    • Biren says:

      I will have to check out your post. Pre-fab is just fine. We did that when the boys were little. This was quite a project but it was fun. Merry Christmas to you and your family! :)

  9. One of the happiest moments of my life was when Dudette came to me a few weeks ago and confided that she knew Santa wasn’t real and that Christmas is really all about Jesus’ birthday.

    I love your gingerbread nativity (and am shocked that there wasn’t a star with the kit!). Your decorating skills are stellar… I can’t wait to see the one you post for Christmas.

    Blessed Christmas to you and your family Biren!

    • Biren says:

      So glad to hear Dudette found the true meaning of Christmas. Certainly something to rejoice in. :)

      The idea of attaching the star with a toothpick was inspired by one of the Nativity in our collection. I am really happy the way this Gingerbread Nativity turned out. Couldn’t have done it without hubby’s help. Please do visit again tomorrow as I have my Christmas post all ready to go.

      A very Blessed Christmas and New Year to you and your family!

  10. Gina says:

    Was wondering if you have a link for the set, i was looking for a new one. This came out so beautiful. Merry Christmas to you and your family Biren.
    -Gina-

  11. Very German ;-) You did a fantastic job in setting the whole thing up.

  12. Such a beautiful post, Biren! What a great way of honoring the TRUE reason for the season!
    You did a fantastic job with your nativity gingerbread!

  13. This is such a great idea! I adore nativity scenes, and have tried to make some out of dolls and such, but gingerbread cookies? Such a fresh idea.

  14. Beautiful!! I have to get this set, it is the most beautiful cookie setting I have seen. My daughters will love it!

    Have a blessed Christmas!

  15. Monique says:

    Be still my heart~

  16. tigerfish says:

    This gingerbread house is so different from the usual I have seen. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Tammy says:

    Amazing and marvelous! I was so impressed with your Nativity scene I posted about it on my blog and pinned it on Pinterest. What a terrific way to bring back the focus to Christ. Thank you so much. I am definitely subscribing to your blog. (Thank you Foodgawker for bringing me to your blog!)

    • Biren says:

      Nice to meet you Tammy, and thanks for visiting. I am very happy to hear you like the Gingerbread Nativity and its message. Many thanks also for sharing it. God bless and have a Blessed Christmas!

  18. I can tell by looking at the picture it will be yummy but difficult to make,it is very beautiful too. Merry christmas Aunt L.

    • Biren says:

      Hi J, I am glad you like this Gingerbread Nativity. :) Yes, the gingerbread is very yummy, not too sweet or heavily scented. It is a really good one to cut into shapes and decorate. I hope you, A, mom, and dad have a wonderful Christmas!

  19. Brenda says:

    I stumbled on your website in search of a nativity scene. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. Every year my daughter and I make a gingerbread house. I just LOVE the Gingerbread Nativity. I am also a collector of the Nativity scenes and to change from making a Gingerbread house to a Gingerbread Nativity every year would be an even better tradition to pass on. I cannot wait to find the set. Thank you so much. God Bless and have a Very Merry Christmas.

    • Biren says:

      Hi Brenda, thanks for visiting and leaving such a sweet comment. I chanced upon this Nativity cookie cutters at Homegoods. I am sorry I can’t provide a local link for the set but it is available at Amazon Germany as stated in one of my response above. It will be a wonderful tradition to pass on. Please check out my Christmas post for a special Nativity in my collection http://www.rotinrice.com/2011/12/merry-christmas/. Wishing you and your family a very Blessed Christmas!

  20. Mary Galea says:

    I’m SO impressed with this, and as I too collect Nativity sets, I am going on an all out search for these little cutters. It’s divine – literally!! LOL

  21. Vivian says:

    Looking for a gingerbread recipe and came across this. Love the navity set. My question if this page is still active, how long can we keep the navity set (decorated) before eating it? Don’t really want to make one and not be able to eat it, or eat it instantly and not be able to enjoy it visually.

    • Biren says:

      I actually placed plastic shrink wrap over the Nativity for more than a week. This post was done on the 20th but we only ate it a few days after Christmas. It is a gingerbread cookie and so it kept really well. There was so much of it and so I cut it up into smaller pieces and continued to enjoy them for another week or so. Yes, you can definitely make it, enjoy it visually, and also eat it after that. :)

  22. Khari Wellman says:

    Where can I get these cookie cutters?!

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