Gingerbread Wonderland

The girls and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon yesterday rolling out our gingerbread dough and using our Christmas cookie cutters to make a winter wonderland scene. L took her job very seriously and decorated her cookies with precision:

Decorations by L

M tried hard to copy her older sister, but she was just soooo tempted to eat those shiny candy balls …

Decorations by M

We have entered our finished tableau into Baking Bites’ Gingerbread Cookie Contest (although it was a very transient work of art – the pieces had mostly been devoured by this morning!).

Gingerbread Wonderland

This particular gingerbread recipe has been a big hit with the girls. Not too sweet, not too tooth-shatteringly hard … eminently munchable. It stated out in life as a recipe by Harpavan Singh Kapoor in The Telegraph, India. I didn’t want to make such industrial quantities, so I halved the recipe. I also substituted Golden Syrup for honey and added some ground ginger. When it came to the point where the dough is supposed to stick together, it didn’t … stick, that is. I had a nice bowl of spicy breadcrumbs, but the smooth, stiff dough I was supposed to be forming was nowhere in sight. So I added an extra egg and bingo!

Gingerbread

12 oz/1 cup Golden Syrup
3 1/2 oz castor sugar
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 tablespoons water
1 lb 10 1/2 oz plain flour
5 1/4 oz ground almonds
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract

Heat the Golden Syrup, sugar, oil and water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a very large bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, ginger, cocoa, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir in the egg, yolks and lemon extract.

Add the syrup and stir well to make a smooth, stiff dough. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Pregeat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly butter a large baking tray. Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness and cut into shapes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden (small shapes bake very quickly, so keep an eye on them). Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then decorate as desired.

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5 Comments

  1. They look lovely!
    I like the Kate Flour you have put together on your blog titles. Very good and easy to read.

    Reply
  2. Thanks, Melinda :-) It’s good to hear from you again. Good luck with your own Christmas baking (is it just me, or is there more of a tradition in the US than in the UK of baking huge amounts of cookies at Christmas time?).

    Reply
  3. Yes. And Christmas candies. Like fudge, peanut brittle, divinity…and some really horrible fruit cakes.
    Best fruit cakes are here in Britain, thank goodness.
    When I am being funny, (or trying to be) as people always seem to ask me why I moved here…. I have tired of repeating the real reason so I make up things that amuse me, like ‘I moved here to get away from American football and American fruit cakes.’ It works on many levels, don’t you think?
    I have enjoyed making our own family traditions. Some day I will try making my mother’s famous peanut brittle. It was the very best.

    Reply
  4. Jeannette

     /  December 13, 2007

    These gingerbread cookies/biscuits look really good!Your girls must have been really proud of themselves turning out such lovely products. I love the way they decorated them. I have just returned from Devon after visiting my daughter todeliver all the Christmas gifts. Hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas.

    Reply
  5. Oh Jeannette, you were in Devon! You really must let me know next time and we can meet up. I hope you have a lovely Christmas too – it seems to be approaching very quickly now.

    Reply

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