Gorgeous Gingerbread!

December 16, 2015

While I haven't been very good at sharing it with you the past few weeks, I have seriously been enjoying the approach of Christmas. There is something so exciting and different about this year that I can't place. 

Maybe it's the fact that this time last year I was worrying about final results for school whilst simultaneously planning a winter escape to London which leaves me feeling, this year, that I am more at peace with myself and very much more excited, almost in fact, like a little child.
I'm not saying that this December hasn't been crazy so far because it has been (crazy being probably the biggest understatement) but I feel more in control this December.

Firstly, for the first time ever we bought a real Christmas tree that smells AMAZING! The scent of Narnia wafts through the house and greets me as I return home from work. It's the greatest thing but more on that in a later post...

With Christmas fast approaching (gulp) I have started to realise that I have not even begun to think about what gifts to get people. I'm not really someone who goes out and buy things and trys to guess what everyone wants and needs. I've tried that once and it wasn't for me. 
Often instead, I bake. I feel it is more sentimental and works better for many of my relatives because baked goods never become clutter in their homes.

So I thought that I'd share with you the greatest gingerbread recipe that I have ever tried! It works perfectly as a little Christmas gift on a nice plate or wrapped in cellophane.

This recipe was actually given to my mum and me after we were given some beautiful gingerbread angels as a Christmas gift. (See good idea!) They were so great that we just had to know how to make them ourselves to make supplies for the year until we could receive them as a Christmas gift again!
Sad to say I don't think we ever got gifted any more... but we have made many more batches ourselves!

This recipe has been one of those thing that has been baked thousands of times and has never failed. The gingerbread is always soft and a perfect blend of sweetness and spices.

What you'll need:
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup. This is in my opinion the magic ingredient!
1 egg yolk. Usually I hate recipes that only use half an egg, but I fell in love with this recipe before I had seen the ingredients so... Oh well!
2 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour or a blend of some wholemeal some white. I find that the wholemeal flour gives the gingerbread more body and makes them a little more dense and chewy.
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 180°C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.

In a medium to large bowl beat butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a bowl until they are pale and creamy.
To the creamy mixture add the egg yolk and beat until just combined.
Once combined gradually add the flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves and stir until almost together.
Use your hands to finish the job and knead until a smooth dough is formed.
Divide the dough into two to make it easier to handle.
Roll one portion onto a lightly floured surface until about 5-10mm thick.
I like to make mine chunkier. This may be partly because I prefer using smaller cutters but also because a chunkier biscuit cooks slightly less and therefore is softer than a thinner one. But this is entirely up to you.
Once you have your flat disk, cut! Use whatever cutters you like. I usually use just a tiny gingerbread man cutter to make my 'ninjas' as they're call out of the Christmas season, but I also had a small Christmas tree and some other seasonal cutters that we've had for years.
These days there are so many great cutters out there. Anything from shoes to Smurfs so feel free to go wild!
Place the shapes onto one of the pre-prepared trays and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.
Repeat with rest of dough, rolling to offcuts up and cutting again.

Once cooled you can get creative and ice them or dust them with icing sugar or leave them plain and call it a day.

I iced some of them with Queen Writing Icing and Glitter Writing Gel which is really simple and easy to use!

Whether you do ice or not... In every for these gingerbread biscuits taste great!

These gingerbread cookies also last for ages (two weeks) if stored in an airtight container. That is, if you can avoid eating them for that long!

Happy Baking and as always, let me know how they turned out!



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