More is expected of the Christmas gingerbread biscuit than any other cookie dough. It must taste good and have a nice spicy kick to stand up to the sweet icing that it is often decorated with. It must last a long time when hung as a decoration and it must withstand being fashioned into architectural marvels without risk of collapsing.
I have made this dough a few times already in the last couple of weeks as it ticks all the boxes. They have been shaped, iced and dispatched as presents to the childrens' teachers, all prettily packed in little boxes. The gingerbread house has been made and is still standing proud even after being decorated by two of the clumsiest four year olds on the planet, a veritable Christmas miracle!
I like to eat them on their own without the icing and can (humbly) say that they are one of my favorite little biscuits of all time!
This recipe can be used to make a whole range of decorations, buildings, gifts and, of course, gingerbread people. Children love to help roll and cut out the dough and to decorate the biscuits. I buy the squeezy tubes of colored icing and let them go nuts with it. There is no need to chill the dough before rolling it.
Wholemeal Gingerbread Biscuits
(adapted from a Waitrose recipe)
125g unsalted butter
100g dark muscavado sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
175g wholemeal flour
150g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a couple of trays with baking paper. Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a medium saucepan and heat gently until everything is melted and smooth. Put aside. Sift the flours, bicarb and spices together into a big bowl. Pour the melted mixture into it and stir well to combine. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the mixture out until about 5mm thick, or roll out between 2 sheets of cling film. Use a floured biscuit cutter to cut out shapes and place on the tray. Bake in batches for about 8-10 minutes - they should get slightly darker around the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Make holes in them before baking with a cocktail stick if you would like to hang them and check to make sure that the holes are still open while they are hot.
|Hannah's first ginger bread house - some room for improvement.|