Friday, 20 December 2013

Festive Gingerbread Cookies

Hello my little cherubs! I can't believe Christmas is only five days away; I'm getting so excited for it now! 

Now I don't know about you, but the days leading up to Christmas centre primarily around food. This means trips to "Big Tesco", and lots and lots of baking! My mum is the best home cook in the world - I can't wait for Christmas dinner, I just know it's going to be the best meal of the year! Our family has quite a sweet tooth as well, so we like to have lots of boxes of chocolates, shortbread biscuits, and spiced cookies to hand. The 25th is also the only time it's acceptable to eat chocolate and biscuits for breakfast!

Today, my mum and I decided to whip up a bunch of delicious morsels for a Christmas party my nana is having for all her afternoon oldie clubs. These gingerbread cookies will - for sure - be the star of the show, and this is how we made them...

To make approximately 40 cookies, you will need:

350g (12 oz) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger (add more if you love the spice!)
100g (3.5 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
140g (5 oz) soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
115g (4 oz) golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF/Gas Mark 5) and lightly grease two baking trays. We used grease-proof paper because it's less messy.

Sift the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre, add the egg and golden syrup and, using a wooden spoon, stir until a soft dough forms. Knead on a clean surface until smooth.

Divide the dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured work surface until 5mm thick. Using various-shaped cookie cutters (we used gingerbread men, stars, and baubles), cut the dough and then transfer to the prepared trays. Bake in batches for 8-10 minutes, or until the gingerbread is light brown. Allow to cool on wire racks.

Then it's the fun part - decorating! We just piped plain royal icing on for the gingerbread men, and used watered-down icing to drizzle over the stars and baubles. Then we had a handy selection of simple decorations to sprinkle over the top! You can use anything you like to decorate, and if the cookies are for hanging decorations then you can pop a skewer through the top while they're still hot. I think these cookies would also make lovely little gifts for anyone that likes gingerbread!

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