Lately I have been having a lot of fun making up new holiday soap recipes.
Christmas is the perfect time for making up a holiday soap because soap makes such a practical DIY gift. People are so impressed when you tell them you made the soap yourself. If they only knew how easy it was!
This year I decided to stick with something simple, and basically just added a few new ingredients to my Easy Beginner Soap, turning it into an ultra easy gingerbread soap.
My idea was to have something festive that anybody could easily make. Plus, I wanted to concentrate on the new ideas for presenting my soap. My thought was to make little gingerbread men, and maybe even make little gingerbread soap on a rope. In the end, I decided to leave that idea for another day.
At first my easy soap wasn’t as easy as I thought, though. The first time I made this recipe, I decided to add my molasses into my lye solution. Not only did the solution get mildly explosive (Good thing I mixed it in a large container and didn’t get any spillage), but the end soap just wasn’t coming to trace very quickly, and my final product just wasn’t as hard as I would have liked. In the end, it did harden up. It just took longer than most of my soaps usually do. I was afraid that the whole process might freak out a beginning soap maker, though.
I was pretty sure that the recipe was sound, and that it would work out much better by adding in the molasses during trace, but there was no way I was going to post it here without actually making it successfully myself. I find it very frustrating that some people do that. Rest assured that I will never post anything that I haven’t successfully made myself nor will I post things that I don’t like!
So, I decided to try again. This time, I used a very old jar of molasses that had crystalized because I didn’t want it going to waste. It was an old jar that I found hidden away in my garage because I had bought it for using to make compost tea. I thought that during mixing the crystals would dissolve, and they did seem to. While setting, though, the crystals of the molasses separated out and came to the surface of the soap. It didn’t ruin the soap, but it wasn’t attractive either. Sigh.
So, I made the recipe again, adding fresh molasses to the mix, at trace. Third time’s the charm, I guess!
Molasses is a great addition to soap. It’s one of the main ingredients that gives gingerbread it’s characteristic taste and color, so it makes sense to add it in. Not only does it help make the soap a beautiful gingerbread color naturally, but it also adds in some minerals that are nourishing to your skin. Plus, the sugar in it helps make more lather.
So, are you ready to make some gingerbread soap yourself?
If this is your first time making soap, you may like to read my post about making a beginner soap before you begin.
My soap got lighter in color as it cured and fully hardened. If you want a darker, more orange gingerbread color, you can add in a tiny bit of red clay to your mixture at trace.
If you want to present soap as a gift, might I suggest making a Christmas-y snowflake gift pouch?