The past few weeks have been a bit hectic, and as a result I haven’t been feeling all that festive. Aside from an evening at the Christmas Market back home in Bath and my recent obsession with Christmas coffee cups (Costa being my fave – especially as the lovely people in my local Surrey branch gave me a free coffee last week, just because!) I haven’t really been getting into the spirit.
Cue this weekend. This weekend was one filled with Winter Spice candles, putting up the Christmas tree, drinking mulled wine, and baking gingerbread.
If, like me, you’re just not feeling that festive magic yet, I highly recommend baking a batch of these gingerbread biscuits . The smell of these in the oven alone is enough to have you pulling on your Christmas jumper. And, if you accompany the baking process with Michael Bublé on repeat, I can promise you’ll be well and truly on the way to feeling that Christmas cheer.
These would be great to bake with kids, but even if it’s just you, your 27 year old fiancé and his 24 year old brother, the nostalgia of drawing on those little buttons and that gingerbread man smile is just as magical.
You will need…
- 175g light soft brown sugar
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 125g butter
- 1 medium egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Writing icing and decorations
- Baking trays, greaseproof paper, cookie cutters
Preheat your oven to 180C and line your baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Start by sifting the flour, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon into a big bowl and adding the butter. Get in there with the tips of your fingers and rub the butter and dry ingredients together to form breadcrumbs.
(Side note: I thought it would be nice to relive my childhood and do this by hand. About halfway into this step when I had dough stuck to my hands and could no longer pick up my glass of mulled wine I did glance over at my shiny Kenwood and seriously consider piling in the ingredients and saving myself a lot of time. But I have to say there is something really satisfying about doing this by hand. Obviously if you want to blitz in a blender then go for it!)
When you’ve reached the breadcrumb consistency, stir in your sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and golden syrup. (Lick the syrup spoon, obviously!)
Pour this into your breadcrumb mixture and beat until in comes together to start forming a dough.
Lightly flour your work surface and tip your dough out. Gently kneed until smooth (this really doesn’t take that long, but if it’s still a little sticky just sprinkle with some more flour)
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 20 mins. (Now is a good time to wash up, or re-heat that mulled wine you couldn’t drink whilst you had doughy hands!)
Lightly flour your surface and gently roll out the dough until it’s roughly 0.5cm, or slightly thicker if you like your gingerbread to be a bit softer. If you can’t figure out where your rolling pin has disappeared to, improvise!
Cut out your desired shapes (the classic gingerbread man is obligatory, the rest is up to you!) and carefully transfer to your waiting trays.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, relish in the mouthwatering scents that I promise will fill your kitchen (or every room, if you live in a little London flat like I do) and remove when they are a lovely golden brown.
Grab your icing , decorations and anyone who happens to be trying to watch a football game in your living room, and get decorating!
If these don’t get you feeling festive I don’t know what will!