Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Gingerbread People

Cooking with the kids can be fun at times or very messy!!! My 3 cherubs LOVE getting their hands into everything. Licking the spoon would rate very highly on their radar but having just one spoon between 3 can sometimes cause riots in our place. Being a rainy afternoon, there was a little bit of cabin fever going around so we decided making gingerbread people would be a nice simple boredom busting activity. Plus the kids can eat the dough and everyone is happy!

This gingerbread recipe is a household favourite in our family from way back. I remember our mum making it and B even had us all making it for her wedding as a special gift for each guest.

The recipe is from The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits from The Australian Women's Weekly (AWW). Nearly everyone I know has this book tucked away somewhere at the back of their mother or grandmother's cupboard, along with the Children's Birthday Cake Book. I had to purchase my copy off eBay as my mother won't part with hers (when mine arrived in the mail it even smelt of mothballs!!). I also suspect B nabbed mum's spare copy - thanks B!

You will need  (page 22 in AWW's The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits)
125g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup  (I have found that you really need more butter and golden syrup just so the mix comes together, so I added extra 2 tbsp of golden syrup and made my butter 160g)

Royal Icing
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 egg white
4 drops of lemon juice
food colouring

Step 1
 Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg yolk, beat well. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and syrup, mix well, knead lightly. Divide dough into portions. Roll each portion between two sheets of greaseproof paper to 3mm thickness.

Step 2
Gently remove greaseproof paper from top. Cut out gingerbread figures with cutter. Remove any excess mixture around the cut-out figures.

Step 3 Lift the figures onto a lined baking tray. Bake in moderate oven 10 minutes. Cool on trays. Spoon royal icing into small plastic bag, snip off one corner to make a piping bag.

Royal Icing
Sift icing sugar. Beat egg white lightly in a small bowl, using a wooden spoon. Add icing sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. When icing reaches piping consistency, beat in lemon juice and desired food colouring. Makes about 20.


M xx

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