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Christmas baking is the best. The aromas of spices that flow through the house ooze with festive warmth and cosiness.
We received some charming gingerbread ornaments one Christmas and they have taken pride of place on the tree every year since. Each time I bring them out of the box, I vow to make gingerbread for Christmas but I never get round to it.
My son has developed a taste for gingerbread. Whenever we go to a coffee shop, he has to have gingerbread shaped like a dinosaur, teddy or whatever beautifully decorated creation they have on display.
This year, I decided to start practising early and it turned out to be a fun rainy day activity that my son could join in with too.
We are keen bakers in this house, but we usually stick to the same sponges, cupcake or flapjack recipes. I didn’t realise how much enjoyment we could get out of decorating gingerbread men. My husband was engrossed as he carefully iced funny faces and dressed the gingerbread with buttons and Smarties. I think we both found it therapeutic!
We used a recipe from the BBC and made some small changes as listed below.
Tools You Need:
350g/12oz of plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
125g/4 1/2/oz butter
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp of golden syrup
Adaption – we added 2tsp of cinnamon
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into a bowl. The recipe states to add the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor then add the butter and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Instead of using a food processor we used the rubbing in method to create a breadcrumb texture.
- Lightly beat the egg and the golden syrup together, add to the processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. We used a wooden spoon to do this. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Line two trays with greaseproof paper
- Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm / ¼ inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on a baking tray leaving a gap between them.
- 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 cool.
We really enjoyed making gingerbread men and can’t wait to get the tree up and make our next batch.
What festive treats do you like to bake at Christmas?