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My Go-To Gingerbread Recipe (but don't come here for decoration inspo!)

My Mug Cake recipe is still one of the most-visited pages on my site. Not surprised. So, since we all share a mutual love of excellent food (and due to impending Christmas) I'm sharing my go-to gingerbread recipe! It's sweet but not too sweet, it's spicy but not overpowering. And while I can't guarantee it'll look pretty, I can assure you it tastes DI-VINE. 

The first year I tried my recipe with a gingerbread house. It didn't end well. It tasted AMAZING, but the house collapsed. So I made a stacked Xmas tree out of the broken bits instead. This year (to save me from tears 🎵), I'm continuing my tradition of no-way-in-hell attempting a gingerbread house. It involves cute cookie cutters and eating a lot of the decorations while I cook. Also trashy Netflix Christmas movies and probably wine. You'll welcome to attempt this recipe with a house, but please don't come to me for tips. I ain't your gal there.

INGREDIENTS

  • NOT an ingredient, but if you want to use cookie cutters, you'll need them :)
  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) golden syrup (you can use honey instead)
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 600g (4 cups) plain flour, sifted
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves (DON'T accidentally add more!)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Whatever edible decorations you want, really - Freckles, M&Ms, musk sticks, liquorice, boiled lollies - and icing sugar/water to make the 'glue' to help them stick!

METHOD

  • Stir butter, sugar and golden syrup over low heat until the butter and sugar is melted. Let cool for about 10 mins.
  • Mix butter mixture and egg in a bowl (if the butter mixture is too hot, you'll have scrambled eggs on your hands - not overly nice)
  • Separately, mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and bicarb soda together
  • Mix this dry mix in with the butter/egg mixture
  • Flour a board/bench and turn the mixture onto it
  • Knead it until it's nice and smooth - I think it should be like a cookie dough but with a slightly powdery finish!
  • Shape it into a disc and cover it with Glad Wrap - pop it in the fridge for an hour
ONE HOUR LATER
  • Preheat your over to 180C - fan-forced shouldn't need this, but I always get scared things won't cook properly unless I do it!
  • Divide the dough into, say, 4 portions so that when you rolling pin it all out, it doesn't take up your entire bench
  • Using a rolling pin (or a large bottle of gin), roll out a dough portion onto a  floured surface - BIG HINT: roll to about 5mm thick and if things feel sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes - it's always nice to give them a little wiggle just to make sure the cookie has separated from the rest of the dough - having the floured surface helps them not stick so you don't end up with stretched limbs of gingerbread men
  • Pop shapes with ample space around them onto a tray with baking paper. HINT: Don't try and cook all the biscuits together at once. They don't take long, they need room to spread out and you don't want a gingerblob.
  • Bake for STRICLTLY 10 minutes or until golden of you like crunch OR 5-7 mins if you like a bit more doughy (if a biscuit can be doughy) - I like to not even get to the golden stages because even a minute over can make it too crunchy for my liking. I like a bit more of a non-crunchy g'bread.
  • Repeat until you've gone through all the dough but let the cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack so they can cool properly

DECORATIONS

I can attest to the fact that any lollies really taste quite good with gingerbread, but grab some icing sugar, mix it with water and create yourself a glue to decorate.

I'm yet to make mine (that's a tomorrow job), so I'll pop some terrible pics of previous years' attempts at decorating below:

 

2019. What not to do (get distracted by terrible Xmas movie) VS what to do (take cookies out JUST as you think the edges are starting to turn brown.

2016. The white icing ended up looking like superglue. At least everything together like it was. I consider myself an artist, but decorating cookies clearly isn't my forte.

2018. Thought the green would make the cookies look like Xmas trees. It just made it look like Shrek sneezed on them. Then decorated them.

2019. Smartest idea I've had - 2D cookies and make guests decorate their own. GENIUS. But why the blue? 🤷‍♀️

 

Yours in collapsed (but tasty) gingerbread houses,

Clare

1 Response

Brodie

Brodie

December 18, 2020

Love that you show your ‘fails’… totally mine too when decorating. I suck at it. Have a super Christmas xx

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