Gingerbread

by Jenny




Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I hope every one is safe and where they meant to be. South east England has been a bit of a nightmare after being hit with a storm yesterday. We lost running water to our block of apartments and have been either running backwards and forwards to fill up water bottles at friends houses or taking up temporary residence at a local pub. On the upside it has meant minimal cooking so lots of meals out and my parents doing my laundry so I’m feeling slightly spoilt!


I love Christmas Eve as we get to spend it with all our old school friends as we all migrate back home for the holidays. It’s so much fun to find out what everyone has been up to since we last saw them and reminisce about our teen years. This year will have the added adventure tales of how everyone made it back in one piece as the trains have been cancelled due to bad weather.





If my home still had running water I would have loved to make another batch of these to share among everyone as we sipped on hot mulled wine in the Chapel (a church turned bookshop turned bar with leftover pieces from each incarnation). These biscuits are closer to the German kind with other spices as well as ginger. They have a hard brittle texture which is brilliant for dunking when no one is looking, and have a rich, dark flavour from the treacle and brown sugar.


These letterpress cookie cutters from Tala just take the whole thing to a new level, they are so cute. They come with several pre-made words and a lot of letters so you can write your own messages too. They were surprisingly easy to use, though it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to realise that balancing the cutter on the plunger made it a lot simpler to slide the letters in.





Gingerbread
adapted from Delia Smith
makes approximately 18 medium sized cookies


75g light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp treacle
1 tbsp water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of grated nutmeg
finely grated zest of half an orange
95g butter cut at room temperature cut into cubes
½ tsp baking soda
225g plain flour plus more if needed (I added about an extra 4 tbsp)


In a saucepan on a medium high heat combine the sugar, syrup, molasses, water, spices and zest and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.


Stir in the butter until it melts and is well combined, and then mix in the baking soda.


Using a wooden spoon gradually sift in the flour stirring well between each addition until it forms a manageable dough.


Leave to covered in a cool place for about 30 minutes to firm up.


Preheat the oven to 180C and line baking sheets with baking paper


On a floured work surface roll out the dough and cut into shapes.


Place the cookies on the baking sheet allowing about half an inch gap around them.


Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes until the cookies are slightly firm and brown.


Allow to cool on the baking sheet until slightly firmer then move to a cooling rack until at room temperature.


Keep in an airtight container and eat within a week.


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