Friday, 20 December 2013

Gingerbread Men

It's hard to not love a gingerbread man isn't it? Forget the whole Christmasy thing. If you are given a gingerbread man you really do have to smile. There are many, many types of gingerbread but this one (stolen from somewhere and I have no idea where) has magical properties as it keeps the form of the imprint from the mold as it bakes. It also gets smoother and bakes better the more you play with it so is ideal for sproglets to have fun with. (To state the bloomin' obvious this recipe gets very hot indeed. Melted treacle doesn't mix well with little fingers and noses so wait till the dough is cool.)   Scared to fiddle  too much with the original recipe I have only upped the spice content a little and added my top Christmas spice clove.

350g  Treacle
225g Butter
175g dark brown sugar (the darker the better in my book!)
750g Plain flour
3 tsp Ground ginger
2 tsp Mixed spice
1 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Large egg

1. Heat the treacle in a large saucepan. When it is runny take off the heat and stir in the butter and brown sugar until they are well combined. You may need to add a little more heat. Set aside to cool. If you have a mixer put it in the bowl ready for the mixing stage.
2. Sift the flour, salt and spices in a bowl and mix together.
3. Add a tablespoon of the floury mix to the sugar and butter and stir in. Keep doing this for 2/3rds of the flour.
4. Add the egg and mix in then add the rest of the flour and mix till it is a smooth brown dough.
5. Allow to cool. Do not miss this step the dough is impossible to work with until it is cold.
6. Turn the oven on to 350C.
7. Roll out the dough and have fun with cutters or treat it like playdoh.
8. Place the gingerbread on greased baking trays and bake for  10-15 minutes.
9. When they come out of the oven allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes. This is essential as they fall to bits otherwise.

DECORATING TIME.....or eating with a nice cuppa.

Inevitably some come out as planned.....

Some do not.....but look how HAPPY he is!

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