Since we’re in moving house limbo at the moment I’ve been trying to fit in as many festive activities as I can to keep us from skipping the holiday altogether. On Saturday we took a day trip to York with the kids to see the Christmas Markets and visit the year round Christmas shop – see the vlog here – and last night Milo and I got our bake on and attempted out first proper gingerbread men.
Here’s the recipe we used:
Mix 350g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 125g butter before adding 175g of light brown sugar. In a separate bowl whisk 1 egg and 4 tbsp of golden syrup – I used treacle because it’s all we had but golden syrup would make lighter, sweeter gingerbread. In theory you knead the dough, cover it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for 15 mins..we used foil cause we had no clingfilm but I only did that because dinner was ready. Under normal circumstances I skip these steps because I’m an impatient non-conformist and nothing terrible ever happened to my biscuits! Milo kindly rolled out and cut our little guys and I put they tray in the oven at 180C for 12 minutes – I discovered that it’s tough to guess when already dark cookies are cooked because they’re already ‘browned’ so if you also use treacle I’d suggest erring on the side of caution.
Since gingerbread isn’t for EVERYONE we also whipped up a batch of sugar cookies and here’s our old faithful recipe for those..
Mix together 200g of caster sugar, 200g of butter and one egg, next is the flavouring – I always use 1 tsp of vanilla essence and this time I also added some grated vanilla pods but you could choose something more festive since it’s Christmas. Lastly.. the flour will depend on how soft your butter was.. I’ve used anything between 300g-400g.. the more you add the crunchier the cookie will be – I personally prefer that – however it wouldn’t hurt to add in a little more sugar if you do add more flour. When the cookies are cut and on the tray I add more sugar before they go in the oven. Once again at 180C but this time for 8-10 minutes/until the edges are golden.
If you’re looking to get in to the spirit of the season I can’t recommend baking cookies highly enough.. especially if you have a willing child on hand.. oh and Michael Buble’s christmas album is the perfect soundtrack