ITS CHRISTMAS AT LAST!
I’m aware this is a few (6 to be exact) days late, but thats entirely acceptable. Everything at Christmas is a little rushed, and I bet most of you haven’t finished (or even started) your Christmas shopping yet, so you can forgive me for the delay in posting this, especially as I had my last exam of my foundation term at Leiths this week! (It went well, thank you for asking!)
If, like me, your mum has long given up on the idea of giving you an advent calendar, this is a perfect solution. I completely understand if you feel the need to nip to Tesco and buy your own 30cm x 20cm cardboard creation from Cadbury’s, full of thumb sized bits of chocolate, to hide in your room away from prying eyes (and greedy fingers!). But for the more keen bakers amongst you, I suggest you give this adorable idea a go, and maybe invent a new Christmas tradition…
Gingerbread Advent Men (Or horses, snowmen, trees…)
For the Gingerbread
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g dark muscovado sugar
- 60g golden syrup
- 600g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees/ 180 degrees fan
- Melt the butter, sugar and syrup gently in a saucepan over a medium heat
- Mix together the flour, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl
- Once completely melted, pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together. If it won’t quite come together as a dough, add a little water, and bring the mixture together with your hands. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Use this time to find your cutters, wash your bowl, line your baking tray with greaseproof paper, and prepare your surface and rolling pin with a generous dusting of flour.
- It is easier to roll the dough out in halves or quarters, so divide the mixture, then roll out to £1 coin thickness before cutting out your shapes and transferring them to your baking sheet. I made 24 gingerbread men, about 10cm long, and plenty of spares to pop in the biscuit tin)
- Using the end of a skewer, carefully make a 3-5mm hole in the top of your gingerbread men (this is for the ribbon to thread through when you hang them) and pop in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool and harden (they will be soft when they come out) and set aside on a wire cooling rack. You may need to bake them in batches, depending on you oven space and baking tray availability, but they are so quick it doesn’t really matter.
For the icing
- 1 egg white
- 250g icing sugar
- 24 x 20cm lengths of ribbon or string.
or, if you’re feeling lazy
- a squeeze bottle of designer, or writing icing.
- Once the biscuits have cooled completely, thread the ribbon/string through the holes you made, and tie securely.
- If you’re making the icing, gradually stir in the icing sugar until you have a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a fine nozzle.
- Ice the biscuits however you want to! I went for simple numbers, but feel free to get creative!
- Let the icing set for about 10 minutes, then hang on your tree, or string up as advent bunting if you wish!
Enjoy the countdown to Christmas, foodies! This is the first in a number of Christmas specials I will be posting, so keep your eyes peeled!