Gingerbread

Gingerbread is loved by young and all. It makes great Christmas decorations for the Christmas tree and can also be used to make a gingerbread house (see recipe).

Gingerbread is an essential part of Christmas in my home. My daughter loves making gingerbread men and other shapes for the Christmas tree (which funny enough seem to diminish from the tree during the month). Our other favourite Christmas decoration is a gingerbread house which is full of sweets, these also seem to disappear as little and big fingers sneak them out of the front door.

The Gingerbread House decorated.

Preparation: 15 minutes plus 1 hour refrigeration

Cooking: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

Gingerbread

  • 200g butter
  • 400g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g molasses or treacle or golden syrup (if preparing for children I recommend golden syrup)
  • 100g muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

Method

Method 1:
  1. To Prepare: Place the butter, molasses and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Sieve the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and ginger into a bowl and stir in the cooled butter with a wooden spoon into the flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it briefly bringing it together. Place the dough in a covered container and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. To Cook: Preheat an oven to 180°C. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and knead it briefly then roll it out on a floured surface to about 5 mm thick. Cut out shapes with a biscuit cutter or knife. Place the biscuits on a greased baking tray or sheet. Bring all the gingerbread trimmings together, reroll and cut out desired shapes. Place the gingerbread in the preheated oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly then place them on a wire rack to cool. When cool decorate as required.
Method 2:
  1. To Prepare: Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl and mix in the sugar. Break the butter into pieces into the flour and rub it into the flour until it is crumb like. Mix the milk and molasses or treacle or golden syrup together in a container. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Pour the milk mixture into the centre of flour and beat it in with a wooden spoon until well distributed and you have a dough. Place the dough in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare and cook as above.