Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

Hello! Apologies for not blogging since early October! How many slack of me. Truth is, it’s been an extremely busy last few months and the last thing I’ve felt like doing is blogging my evenings away. Excuses, excuses..I. know. I do wonder, sometimes, how all you other bloggers carry on with such momentum…it’s truly awesome.

I’m back though, with some festive treats over the next couple of weeks. First up is a delightful recipe, and something that truly reminds me of my childhood, and also rather fitting for this time of year. They make a perfect treat for your workmates, or just wrap in cellophane for a cheap, and easy gift.

This recipe is so unbelievably easy to prepare, using the food processor. The smell of gingerbread will be wafting through your kitchen within minutes!

photo

Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2-3 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 150 grams butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • Lollies to decorate (pebbles are great)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

This is the easy part! Sift flour, baking soda and ground ginger together and place in a bowl or food processor. Add butter and rub in with fingertips or pulse in food processor until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and stir or pulse to mix. Ta da!

If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour to the mix and wrap in cling wrap. Likewise if a little too dry, add 1 tbsp of warm water. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.

Roll out on lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Using cookie cutters, cut shapes and place on tray. Form leftover dough into a ball and re-roll and repeat cutting out until all the dough is used up.

Bake the gingerbread cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked and golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack.

Of course these cookies taste superb on their own, but if you’d like to get a little creative, make the icing by adding 11⁄2 tsp water to the icing sugar. Drop a small amount under each spot where you wish to place a lolly.

When you’re done, store the cookies in an airtight container. Enjoy.

Ginger Slice

Ginger slice or crunch is such an old-fashioned New Zealand treat. I find it almost comforting. I grew up with it and it always filled an empty tin at home. Ginger slice was one of those things that my mother made a lot of when I was little.

The taste and smell of ginger was never a favourite of mine when I was younger – especially the crystalised kind! I have since dicovered it’s wonder and these days tend to enjoy that extra kick that ginger provides.

Ginger slice can vary considerably – a hard crispy base or a more of a softer, thicker one. I am more familiar with the softer base from Mum’s recipe, although this recipe actually came from Sanitariam. No matter the recipe, ginger slice is always best with lots of thick gooey icing.

I have decided to change this recipe a wee bit and make it that *little* bit healthier and slightly more chewy. Like my Muesli Slice recipe I added a bunch of leftover cereal packets to the base. I love the flavours that come through with the ginger. Apricots, berries…sometimes other.

I made this slice a lot in December as it is perfect for all the end-of-year morning teas and Christmas celebrations that go on at work and elsewhere. If someone in your family loves ginger, they would definitely love this slice. I’ve seen some recipes that include crystalised ginger in either the base or as a decoration on top of the icing – an idea if you want to make the slice a little spicier.

Ginger Slice

For the base:

  • 100 grams margarine
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup coconut
  • 1 ½ cups crushed Sanitarium Weet-Bix (or any leftover cereal)
  • ¾ cup white plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons powdered ginger

 For the icing:

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 4 teaspoons golden syrup
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ginger
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a large saucepan melt margarine, golden syrup and sugar together. Add remaining ingredients, blending well.
 
Press into a greased 20cm x 30cm slice pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. While hot, mark into squares. Then ice once cool, with hot icing.
 
For the icing, place margarine and golden syrup into saucepan and melt. Blend in icing sugar and ginger, and pour over base, while still warm.
 
Such a simple recipe, but very delicious.

Gingerbread Men and Friends

I made this gingerbread men recipe a few months ago now though I remember it like it was yesterday. My flatmate even remembers. That night never ended, the kneading, the rolling, the cutting – this recipe seriously makes an unanticipated 100+ gingerbread men. Hence, I have renamed this recipe….Gingerbread men and friends.

It is interesting that the original recipe that which I am currently copying down is titled “Gingerbread Man” when in fact it not only produces man, but woman, girl, boy, cousin, sister, brother and friend..

I hadn’t made gingerbread men since I was a very young child so this recipe (although a little ambitious by myself due to the share number!) was an absolute delight to make. I’m sure I could have been more creative with the decorating had I more time.

Anyway, enjoy – I sure did, but I kind of recommend making these with children! Decorate them with red and green and they will make excellent little pre-Christmas gifts!

Gingerbread Men and Friends

  • 2 ½ cups of plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 125 grams of butter
  • ½ a cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the spices, golden syrup and flour, and mix to form a very smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic film, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until quite firm.

Here comes the fun part! Roll out the dough between sheets of non-stick paper to about 5mm thick. Grab your cutters! You can you pretty much anything you like – gingerbread man, star, Christmas tree, you name it! Cut out the shapes and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake your little gingerbread men for about 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cake rack until well cooled.

Decorate to your heart’s content!