When I was little I used to love dunking gingerbread biscuits into my tea with my dad in the morning. There was nothing like pulling out those cracked round cookies and feeling them disintegrate in my mouth while the spicy flavour lingered on my tongue and to this day they are still some of my favourites (dunked or not). Imagine how thrilled I was to find that both of my little ones are also huge fans of the spicy biscuit and that when made into fun shapes and topped with a bit of icing (or white chocolate) and some sprinkles we have a winner.
If you Google a gingerbread recipe you will find many variations, some containing molassis, some containing golden syrup, some containing cinnamon and some only ginger. It really comes down to preference and if you have the time I urge you to experiment until you find a flavour that you like. This gingerbread recipe is actually the same one that I used when I was a child and comes from the ‘We Can Cook’ Cookbook that was given to me by my aunt and uncle when I was about 7 (it was actually my first ever cook book and I find myself using it again from time to time now that I have kids). I have added to the spice mix but I have included both the original and modified ingredients below.
One of the nice things about making cookies as opposed to cakes and cupcakes is that the dough is a little tougher and requires rolling out and shaping which are great for strength (rolling is hard work I am told) and hand eye co-ordination so not only are your children having fun but they are learning and developing at the same time (bonus).
A couple of very proud bakers.
The cookies looked and tasted AWESOME!
• 100g Plain Flour
• ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
• 25g Brown Sugar
• 50g Butter
• 75g Golden Syrup
• 1 tsp Ground Ginger
• 1 tsp Cinnamon (my addition)
• Pinch Nutmeg (my addition)
• Plain flour for rolling and shaping
Decorations (my addition)
• 100g White Chocolate
• Raisins, smarties, Astros etc…
1. Preheat the oven to 190 C
2. Cream butter and sugar together, add the golden syrup and spices and mix well.
3. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
4. Mix well
5. Turn onto a floured board and work some of the flour into the surface of the dough (great for building strength in little arms)
a. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and cut each piece into 3. Shape a small round head, a sausage shape for the arms, and a longer sausage shape for the legs. Press flat on a baking tray and bend legs and arms. Add raisins/currants for eyes and buttons.
b. Roll out the dough to between 5-8 mm (depending on how thick you like your cookies) and cut out gingerbread shapes with cookie cutters. Re-roll the scraps of dough and repeat until you have no dough left.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and firm at the edges. (The centre will remain soft until they are cold).
If you decide to roll out your dough and use cookie cutters and decorate the cookies after baking
1. Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave (in 30 second increments to avoid burning the chocolate – surprisingly easy to do).
2. Use a spoon to spread chocolate on the cookies and then decorate when still wet
3. Leave the chocolate to set (you can pop them into the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the process).
Image courtesy of http://stellaorbit.com
Hardcover: 60 pages
Publisher: Ladybird Books Ltd (25 Jan. 1979)