Last holiday season, I planned to host a cookie-decorating party for some friends and their toddlers. It probably would have been a terrible idea, what with the sugar highs and the sticky fingers and the ungodly mess, but in any event, my toddler and I were sick on the day it was planned for. Still, I went hunting for the perfect sanding sugars and cookie cutters and gel food colorings, and in line at Williams-Sonoma I got to talking to a lady who, out of the blue, offered me her prized gingerbread cookie recipe. It was given to her, she said, when she was a child in Sacramento, by her neighbor Mrs. Morrissey, and it was superlatively spicy and crisp and rolled out like a dream. I took it, and she was right. I can foresee Mrs. Morrissey’s gingerbread cookies becoming a family tradition, and I also think they’d be great for constructing gingerbread houses. I’m thinking of inviting over a bunch of 2-year-olds and their mothers to decorate them. What could possibly go wrong?