These cookies can be hung on the tree if you remember to poke a hole at the top with a skewer before baking. If making as tree decorations, use icing that sets firm and non-sticky sweets.

For a ‘leather-look’ fabric for gingerbread people to wear, try thin sheets of aam-papad tinted with a quality food colouring powder (such as Bush). Lay aam-papad sheets on greaseproof paper and paint on powder with watermoistened brush. Let dry before using. To cover a whole cookie surface, simply cut out with the same cutter you used for the cookie! If it doesn’t cut through, press to leave an imprint; then cut out shapes with kitchen scissors, as lightly with icing so it sticks; else brush on light syrup. ‘glue’ on candies, too, with dots of icing.


Why stick to gingerbread men ? Represent the veriety in humanity with a mix of sugar, spice and gingerbread folk! And let your children dress them up-prehaps a fruity saree for one doll? –and add candy decors. Keep some chocolate icing (see recipes in ‘Small Wonder’, in our November 2005 issue) handy to pipe on hair, shoes faces- fudge is new black in cookie land. Use chocolate curls, teensy savouries and biscuits for hair and accessories.


It’s the season to see Santa claus in everything ! So maybe you can use your half-moon cutter to frame his face? One Santa cookie is covered in aam-papad and trimmed with a coconut beard, cap brim and pom-pom –paint syrup on areas where grated coconut should stick, sprinkle it on and tap off excess later. Out other Santa wears a red jelly hat with sugar paste bobbles and Mentos pom-pom; coconut flakes curl in his beard!

For traditionalists who prefer to keep their crescent, there’s an “aam-papered” moon winking a candied ‘blue moon’-brush with syrup, and press on a galaxy of silver balls and tiny star candy and some crystalline sugar…


Q: When does a candy cane go extra fast? Ans: When it’s on sleigh duty! The traditional peppermint cane is easy-red-tined aam-papad strieped with fine white sugar for a frosty sparkle. To turn it on its head and make a stocking, stripe with different colours and add a fringed aam-papad border for good measure. Aah-now for that sleigh: overlap thin “planks” of coloured aam-papad or icing for the base; add snipped candy bits (try jujubes or other gummy, bendy candy), fix a couple of chocolate toffee twists for reins, and a broken pretzel for runners underneath. For a modern twist, use abstract shapes in colours and a looped string of ‘shoelace candy’ for reins.


Prep About 5 minutes

Makes About 3 cups

450g icing sugar

1/3 cup warm water

3tbsp powdered meringues or 1-2 drop glycerine

1. Beat sugar, water and meringue powder (or glycerine) until blended and so stiff that knife drown through cuts clean path-about 5 minutes.

2. Keep icing covered with clingwrap so it won’t dry out till ready to decorate cookie. (Add more warm water if needed for spreading consistency.)
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