It turns out that my mom was definitely right when she told me as a child that my tastes would change over time.  I remember as a kid thinking gingerbread cookies looked absolutely delicious – and then I tasted one, and absolutely hated it.  Maybe it was just different than what I was expecting, or the flavors were a bit strong for me then, but I’ve steered clear of them ever since.  Then this past weekend, I had my yearly baking marathon for holiday goody packages and decided to give gingerbread a second chance, mainly because I thought they would help round out the packages and keep well for the ones being shipped off to friends and family.

I am so, so glad I tried these because they might just be my new favorite holiday cookie.  The wonderful spiced flavor and the perfectly chewy texture seem to embody the holiday season in a cookie.  Not to mention, they are very pretty!  I love the way they look with simple royal icing scrolls and a few sprinkles.  While this is certainly not necessary, it definitely made them much more attractive.  The only thing to keep in mind is that the cookies spread and puff quite a bit during baking, so you don’t want to use a cookie cutter with too much detail.  These snowflake shapes looked very different before I popped them in the oven.  Even though I didn’t like gingerbread as a kid, Andrew definitely approved of these, and I’m sure they’ll be part of my holiday baking traditions for years to come.