Polar Express Gingerbread Train

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Merry Christmas! I hope you’re spending holidays with loved ones doing the things you love. I’ve been doing a lot of sewing – which I enjoy like meditation – and today I’m in the kitchen. No doubt for most of the day! I’m not one to sit down much. Creating something special for my family puts me in the holidays spirit.

 

IMG_6820Every year, I’m tempted to make a gingerbread train with my special cake pan and it often goes not quite as planned. I considered making other plans but my kids are getting older and I don’t know how much longer the Polar Express will excite them. So this year, I took no chances with the cake, I greased it meticulously and it came out perfectly. I used wax paper and vegan butter to make sure I got butter into every groove.

The cake pan is very detailed so the cake itself looks pretty when plain. I made a simple glaze and then decorated it with Skittles, sprinkles and icing sugar to give it a good dusting of snow.

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We don’t have much snow outside – enough to cover the walkways but not enough to cover the grass – this snowy scene may be the best we get this Christmas! The Christmas trees are cutouts we made recently, covered with glaze, Skittles and dusted with icing sugar.

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The cake is the gingerbread cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World. The glaze is simple (1 cup of icing sugar and 3 Tbsps of water with a drop of lemon extract).

Happy holidays everyone! And best wishes for a joyful new year!

 

Gingersnaps and shortbread with chocolate ganache

It’s crunch time. Any Christmas favourites that don’t get made this week will have to wait until next year! So here’s what I’ve been up to.¬†These are two of my family’s favourites: gingersnaps and shortbread cookies.

Gingersnaps may not be pretty but they are easy to whip up. They’re crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside with a real ginger kick. They are the best.

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For the shortbread, I opted for something a little more special. I made the cookie dough, piped it through my icing bag with a big tip and while they were baking, made some ganache to top the cookies with.

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I used half of the cookie dough to make these spiral beauties and spread the rest in a round cake pan to make unadorned shortbread for my son. He’s not a big fan of chocolate.

The recipes come from¬†Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats. If you like cookies or live with little ones who do, you’ll appreciate the variety of recipes in this book. There’s even a number of gluten-free options throughout.

I have a few more cookies on my list but I’ll be making them with the kids. We’ll need to make sugar cookies in Christmas shapes to decorate. We started our gingerbread houses this weekend but we haven’t decorated them yet.

The kids have school all week so it will be tight for us to fit in all the fun we want to do before Christmas. But I’m sure we’ll have time to make our cookies.

What kind of cookies do you make each Christmas?