There is something wonderfully ‘Christmassy’ about gingerbread though I am not sure the origin of it is Christmas based at all, after all gingerbread adorns most bakers shelves throughout the year. This recipe is not my own but one I found last year and one that I will certainly be using again. It is curiously good and if you’re not careful the uncooked dough can easily get chiselled into by little and big people. The whole house smells of Christmas once you start baking and end result is divine.
Gingerbread Stars, Men, Snowflakes and Trees
(Adapted by ‘Poiresauchocolat’ from Tartine by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson)
For the dough:
- 520g plain flour
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves (I had run out of cloves so used mixed spice)
- 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 225g unsalted butter
- 190g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 200g black treacle
- 100g golden syrup
- 115g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp water
In a big bowl, weigh out the flour, ginger, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, bicarb and sea salt. Stir until the spices are evenly distributed. In a mixer, beat the butter until it is soft and creamy. Add the sugar and cream until smooth and fluffy. Beat the egg lightly then add half to the bowl. Scrape down then beat until combined. Add the other half of the egg and beat again. Scrape down again and add the treacle and golden syrup. Beat until uniform and scrape down. Add the flour mixture and turn the mixer onto its lowest setting until the mixture comes together. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of cling film then wrap tightly and chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Take half the dough and roll it out on a well floured surface to a thickness of about a cm. Dust the surface of the dough and cut out your desired shape. Transfer to a baking sheet covered with bakewell paper. Repeat until you’ve finished the dough, re-rolling as needed. You can very gently dust excess flour off the prints with a soft pastry brush if needed.
Place the tray into the oven and bake for 7-12 minutes, depending on the size and thickness. They should start to brown around the edges but still be soft to touch in the middle. While they bake, whisk together the icing sugar and water. Once the cookies have cooled for 2 or 3 minutes on the sheet, carefully transfer them to a wire rack and gently but confidently brush the surface with the glaze. Repeat with any other trays. Leave to cool on the rack then keep in an airtight box for up to 2 weeks.
Ice and decorate if the ‘little people’ desire!
Written by the wonderful Joanna Preston of Larder Saga. Check it out for other scrumptious ideas!