Saturday, 1 December 2012

Christmas is... #1 gingerbread

Christmas Gingerbread biscuits
I associate gingerbread most with Christmas. Albeit my dad loves ginger biscuits anytime in the year, gingerbread holds its own as part of Christmas festivities.

Squeaks has been 'encouraging' me to make gingerbread men with her, and so last weekend we popped out to get some cutters. When I got home I realised we had some which I had picked up at Lakeland in a bid to be organised, and I have to admit these have become my favourite discovery since the cake pop machine.

This was our first time making gingerbread and we used a recipe from BBC food:

350g/12oz plain_flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g/4½oz butter
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

To decorate
Writing icing
Cake decorations
Making Christmas Gingerbread biscuits
Preparation method

  1. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  2. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations.

We had lots of fun making the dough, and the great thing about putting it in the fridge for 15 minutes is that it gives you a chance to do a bit of tidying up.

Christmas Gingerbread biscuits
As previously mentioned, I ended up falling hook, line and sinker for the spring-loaded cutters, which resulted in lots of gingerbread shapes being baked. We ended up with four trays being baked, I suspect I was rolling them too thin and the ones which were nearer the 0.5cm were a lot tastier. I also didn't fully respect the need to leave a big enough gap between the shapes and had quite a few conjoined shapes.

Mr J and I have been enjoying our gingerbread and a tin has been prepared for Grampy.

We will definitely be revisting this recipe before Christmas, unfortunately Squeaks had other plans than the decorating she had her heart set upon:

A tired out Johnson baby
This was her asleep at half five, and she slept through till the next morning. When she woke up, at 9am,  she declared she was too tired to get up- that's my girl!

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