For me, it begins to feel a lot like Christmas when I catch an old re-run of White Christmas (and if it isn't being offered by the networks I have a videotape stashed away). I've seen the film so many times that Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen feel like friends
("Gain some weight, Vera," I mutter every year).
Something about the movie just kick-starts holiday activities for me and I soon find myself baking. In addition to experiments with mince filling and tiny mince pies, we've been making various cakes and puddings and over the last weekend Sophie and I had a day-long session of rolling out and decorating sugar and gingerbread cookies shaped like snowflakes and stars as we attempted to create our own white christmas. It wasn't snowing that day, but the drifts of royal icing definitely added to the mood.
I freely admit that my interest in snowflake-shaped cookies is a direct result of these amazingly decorated cookies over at Kuidaore. I also freely admit that ours are a far cry from hers and would like to add that it is HELL to move the fragile snowflakes with their complicated extensions to a cookie sheet for baking.
But we had fun. I can't quite recall the chain of events that led to Jack finding us both collapsed on the kitchen floor, laughing so hard we couldn't make any sound, but I'm pretty sure it was had to do with carefully lifting up a completed snowflake and then watching in horror as it broke in half.
Our gingerbread cookie recipe came from Elise of Simply Recipes. For decorating, we used a simple mix of confectioner's sugar with a little lemon juice for the blocks of color and then classic royal icing for piping.