A gingerbread man gift card holder adds a bit of homemade love to standard, ho-hum gift cards.
I’m torn on the volatile subject of gift cards. Some love them (They give you freedom to buy what you want! It’s better than more stuff!). Some do not (It’s sooo impersonal! Only when you give up!). Hopefully these homemade gingerbread man cookies are a compromise and the key to gift card peace. Next up, world peace (we so desperately need that), but I’m making baby steps only in my immediate surroundings.
With these cutie-pie cookies you can still give someone both a personalized, handmade gift AND a stress-free, easy-to-buy gift card to the stores they like. Wrap the whole lot in a cellophane favor bag. Attach a tag with their name, homemade art, whatever you want. Or, tuck it in a gift basket or on a wrapped present. If you’re worried about the gift card next to the food surface (who knows what chemicals they put on there), wrap the card in a small square of wax paper first. Then it’s a double gift, since they have to open up the gift card.
You can use any recipe you like for gingerbread cookies, but I included my NEW favorite recipe for non-spreading gingerbread cookies below. Seriously. They didn’t spread at all. Not even a millimeter. My plain old sugar cut-out cookies are so perfect (forgive the hubris, but it’s true), that every time I make other flavors I sigh just a bit that they won’t live up to those. Hence why when I came up with a vegan sugar cookie recipe, I just used the plain old ones as a model. To make a new gingerbread cookie recipe, I did the same thing. I simply doctored up my plain old sugar cut-out cookies. It’s not overly sweet, so these taste best with icing.
how to make a gingerbread man gift card holder
you will need:*
gingerbread cookie dough (see below or use your own)
gingerbread man cookie cutter
lollipop stick or straw
white food coloring
disposable decorating bag
size “2” decorating tip
confetti sprinkles (optional)
yarn or ribbon
SHORTCUT TIP: Instead of making icing and buying the coloring, bag, and tip, just use a store-bought tube of white icing.
*Use any gingerbread cookie dough, or see below. The cookie cutter should be large enough to accommodate the gift card. A gift card is about 3 1/2 x 2-inches. My gingerbread man cutter is 5-inches across and 6 1/2-inches tall. Find the decorating bags, tip, coupler and sprinkles in the craft store. For food coloring, I suggest Americolor Soft Gel Paste in Bright White.
what to do:
Prepare the dough according to the recipe, chill it well, roll it out on a floured surface, cut out your gingerbread men and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Use a lollipop stick or straw to poke a hole in the center of the chest. I know, I felt awful doing that too. Bake according to the recipe and let cool.
Prepare icing according to the recipe and tint white. Assemble a decorating bag with tip, fill with the icing and close tightly with a rubber band. Decorate the gingerbread men any way you like. If you prefer, use icing to adhere a couple confetti sprinkles for the cheeks. Let the cookies dry well, several hours to overnight.
To attach the gift card:
Cut a piece of yarn or ribbon 30-inches long. Place the gift card face up on the center of the yarn.
Pull each side of the yarn across the card and twist at the middle so one end points up and the other down. Pull taut.
Flip the card over and pull each end of the yarn across the card. Slide each end of the yarn under the yarn that’s stretched across the card so one end of the yarn points up and the other down. And by the way, I trust you, I do, but I photoshopped those numbers.
Tie a knot tightly.
Now you should have the gift card securely tied in the yarn with two long pieces of yarn dangling off the back. Take those two pieces of yarn and thread them through the hole in the gingerbread man’s chest, at the front.
TIP: Use a large tapestry needle to thread the yarn through the hole if needed.
Flip the gingerbread man over and tie a bow to secure the card.
TIP: If you don’t want the gift card next to the food surface, wrap the card in a small rectangle of wax paper first, secured at the front with tape.
how to make non-spreading gingerbread cookie recipe
you will need:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
what to do:
Mix the flour, salt and spices together in a bowl with a whisk and set aside. In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or in a standing mixer fitted with a flat beater, mix together the butter, brown sugar and molasses on medium speed well blended. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour and spice mixture. Wrap the dough and chill for at least 2 hours. (You can make the dough the day ahead and keep in the refirgerator.) Roll the chilled dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out your shapes. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 12 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies, or until edges start to brown. Let cool completely before decorating.
Here you go, this sums things up: