When my children were growing up I did a Gingerbread creation for them every year, without fail. I always enjoyed doing and they really enjoyed the fruits of my labours. This is a recipe which I had shared on my old Oak Cottage Blog about 8 years ago now, but I thought it was worthy of sharing here in my English Kitchen. The pictures are not the best, but I am sure you can get a good idea of what it should look like.
Normally I would have baked something new to share on the blog today, but I was busy putting up my Christmas tree, which took a lot longer than I thought it would. I thought I had marked all of the Christmas boxes last year, but apparently I didn't and so we had to search for them. The tree was easy to find, it was the ornaments that we couldn't find.
Nevermind, we got there in the end, but by that time the light was fading fast and it was too late to bake. Even if you only bake the cookies and decorate them on their own, you will still enjoy them. They are crisp and gingery and delicious! Oh, and kids love to help decorate!
*Gingerbread Cookie Wreath*
A wonderful confection that is not only pleasing to the eye to behold, but mighty pleasing to the taste buds to eat as well . . . a delightfully delicious centre piece for your Christmas table.
3 TBS all purpose flour
1 batch of gingerbread cookie dough (see below)
2 cups icing sugar (260g)
3 to 4 TBS water or milk
Food colouring (if desires)
assorted small candy sprinkles, edible glitter and or decorator sugar
Heat the oven to 350*F/180*C. LIne a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Draw a ten inch circle on the paper. Turn the paper over so that the ink is underneath, but you can still see it through the paper.
Sprinkle 1 TBS of the flour on the workspace. Shape 1/3 of the cough into a ball and press it down into the flour. Press the dough to form a 6 inch round, turning it and coating it with flour frequently. Place it in the centre of the circle on the baking sheet. Roll to form a 10 inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Cut a four inch round from out of the centre and set aside to use for cut out cookies.
Bake the wreath for 7 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheet and place on a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile roll half of the remaining dough out on the floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. With 1 1/2 inch to 3 inch Christmas cookie cutters, cut out shapes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough scraps and flour until it is all used up.
Bake the shapes for 7 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the baking sheets and place on wire racks to cool before decorating and icing.
In a small bowl blend together the icing sugar and enough water to make a spreading consistency. Divide into small bowls and add colouring if desired. Frost and decorate cookies as you wish with various coloured sugars, sprinkles and dragees. With dabs of frosting, attach the decorated cookies to the cookie wreath, allowing one layer of cookies to set before adding another.
*Old Fashioned Ginger Cut Outs*
These deliciously crisp and spicy cookies are a wonderful addition to any holiday tray.
8 TBS softened butter
1/2 cup packed light soft brown sugar (100g)
1/2 cup molasses (125ml)
1 large free range egg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (350g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Cream together butter and sugar. Then beat in the molasses and egg.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add to the creamed mixture and mix until well blended. Put into a plastic bag and refrigerate for one hour.
Roll out onto a lightly floured surface, 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch squares or use your choice of cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place on baking sheets and bake for 7 to 9 minutes until set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
I'll be back tomorrow with something new!