I remember seeing a production of The Nutcracker when I was a little girl. It was just so magical—as a Christmas tree grew before my eyes and beautiful ballerinas floated across the stage. I was captivated. And how could a child not be—witnessing a magician Drosselmeyer, battles between toy soldiers and mice, and a Sugarplum Fairy reigning over a land of sweets?
The story is such a holiday classic! So, to get in the festive spirit and get ready for the upcoming Disney film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, I whipped up some charming cookies. They start off with a flavorful gingerbread cookie then are decorated with colorful royal icing, edible glitter, and gold sugar pearls. It doesn’t get more festive than this!
Watch The Nutcracker and the Four Realms trailer, and gear up for the opening on November 2, 2018.
- GINGERBREAD COOKIES:
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- Cookie cutter or paring knife
- 4 cups (about 1lb) confectioner’s sugar
- 6 tbsp warm water
- 3 tbsp meringue powder
- Pastry bags
- #3 tip
- Gel food coloring (red, pink, black, and yellow)
- Edible gold glitter
- Gold sugar pearls
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add molasses and mix until combined. Add the egg. Then add the flour mixture and mix until a dough is formed.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350° F. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Cut out rectangles using a cookie cutter or paring knife. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Then allow to cool completely before decorating.
Now make your royal icing. Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a stand mixer).
For stiffer icing (used for outlining), use 1 tablespoon less water. For the thinned (flood) royal icing, add an additional teaspoon of water at a time until you reach a good consistency.
Separate frosting in bowls to mix in different food coloring. Place in frosting bags and decorate. Use a #3 tip to outline or add features and just a piping bag for the “flood” icing.
For the hat, pipe on royal icing on the top half of the cookie then sprinkle on edible glitter while icing is still wet. On the bottom half of the cookie, pipe on red icing for the coat. Allow to set for 2 hours. Use black icing for the eyes, mustache, and coat details then add gold sugar pearls. Use pink icing for the cheeks and mouth. Use yellow icing for the strap and coat details.