Ok, lets get real here. I love cooking and baking. I really do. But I also like shortcuts. And when it presents itself to me and doesn't cost too much more than doing it myself, well, I'm all in there.
As is the case with the gingerbread peep and tree in the above picture. I have a friend who is doing her baking apprenticeship at NAIT and she asked me whether I want to buy gingerbread cookies, since they are making them that week. (You can buy baked goods at the main campus at NAIT). I thought about all the rolling, the many pans I use, the baking racks set up all over my dining room table to cool the little cookies and of course, the inevitable few gingerbread peeps that get tossed into the garbage because I burned them.
It really wasn't a rocket science decision. I said yes. Just the mere hours I would save in cooking and cleaning is worth it. AND, hate to tell you, they were not expensive at all. The price tag was really reasonable for the 3 dozen I bought. I may never bake gingerbread cookies again, however, my friend won't be in the baker's program next year so I'll have no idea when they bake gingerbread cookies at NAIT. Time to look at neighboring bakeries for good deals on gingerbread!
Gingerbread houses. Last year, my hubby actually MADE the gingerbread schoolhouses. Yeah, I know, crazy loco!
I'm not that interested in all that work. I love the gingerbread house kits, that come with all the icing and candies. Also, my kids are only interested in the icing and candy too. It's well worth the price tag to buy the kits. And this year, it was even better. Safeway had pre-built houses. The kids didn't have to wait for us to assemble the house and wait for it to dry before decorating. (Kids are so impatient). All they had to do is put on the icing and candies that come included with the kit. They absolutely LOVED it. AND, so did I. All I did was color the icing to their favorite colors and snap some pictures.
(Safeway has them on sale this week. The pre-built gingerbread house kit is $9.99 and you can find it in the bakery section).