Baking is something I have always enjoyed (even before quarantine), but I only found time to do some experiments around Christmas, one of which was recreating a recipe from a fairytale called ‘The Gingerbread Man’. I followed the description in the text for the decorations, and they turned out perfect for a winter evening. "She made a big batch of gingerbread dough, then rolled it flat and cut it in the shape of a gingerbread man. She gave him raisins for eyes, a cinnamon drop for a mouth, and chocolate chips for buttons. Then she put the gingerbread man in the oven to bake."
- 1 Oven
- 1 Cookie Cutter
- 1 Stand Mixer optional
- 6 tablespoons softened salted butter
- 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dark molasses or honey
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- a gingerbread man cookie cutter
- a few choco chips
- a few raisins
- some royal icing
- Cream the butter and sugar together, and add the molasses along with an egg. Incorporate all the spices (if you only have the whole spices, a mortar and pestle works wonders to bring out the perfect flavour of these cookies!) and the baking soda, and fold in the flour.
- Bring everything together and lay it out in some cling film and chill it overnight or if you are not too ambitious then for 4-6 hours. It might be a good idea to use a rolling pin and flatten the dough out beforehand, while it’s still in the cling wrap so that it is easier to cut out shapes later on.
- Once you’ve had your afternoon siesta, spring up and get back to making these cookies. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and use the cookie cutter to cut out shapes of the Gingerbread Man. If you feel that the dough is sticky, pop it in the fridge for a few more hours and resist every temptation to add more flour! Remember the warmth from your hands is the last thing the Gingerbread Man kneads.
- Spread out the shapes on a lined baking tray and set the oven for 175°C for about 10-12 minutes. Let it cool before smearing with icing. Use the chocochips and raisins to make buttons and eyes. Name it Gingy. Show no mercy and bite its head off.