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