Gingerbread Men, Hearts and Stars

You know, as we are embracing Weihnacten this year it would have been completely wrong not to have made Gingerbread..I was aiming to make a Gingerbread house…hahahaha!!…but I think that’s a little beyond my capabilities at this stage of the game (and really as we know by now I would struggle with the patience part of putting the thing together!!) So Livvy and I opted for the more, well, safe version of Gingerbread making, armed with our new cookie cutters and piping set we set to work early this morning 🙂

I actually did a little bit of fun research into the history of Gingerbread….. I found it rather interesting, so thought I would share some bits with you 😉

Gingerbread was first recorded coming to Europe in the 900’s by an Armenian monk named Gregory of Nicopolis (Gregory Makar).  He  taught the making of Gingerbread to French priests.  It was in the 13th Century that Gingerbread made its way to Sweden and Germany. It wasn’t until the 16th Century that the actual sale of Gingerbread was documented, where it was sold in monasteries, pharmacies and markets , then 100 years later the Shropshire town of Market Drayton became famous for its Gingerbread.

“In Germany gingerbread is made in two forms: a soft form called Lebkuchen and a harder form, particularly associated with carnivals and street markets such as the Christmas markets that occur in many German towns. The hard gingerbread is made in decorative shapes, which are then further decorated with sweets and icing. The tradition of cutting gingerbread into shapes takes many other forms, and exists in many countries, a well-known example being the gingerbread man. Traditionally, these were dunked in port wine.”

Gingerbread2

Ingredients 

125g butter (room temp)
100g brown sugar
125ml golden syrup
1 egg (separate the yolk and the white and keep both parts)
375g plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150g icing sugar
8-10 drops green food colouring
8-10 drops red food colouring
baking Paper

How To Make 

Just a little word 😉 Liv and I were super lazy this morning so we used a food processor to mix ingredients, but you could, if you aren’t feeling as lazy and have time (as well as elbow grease!) easily do it all by hand 🙂 Oh and we also had to make our dough a little more congealed so we added a little milk to make the dough..well..more doughy! Happy baking!! 🙂

  1. In a food processor beat the room temp butter and the brown sugar until it is pale and creamy
  2. Add the golden syrup and the egg yolk and mix well
  3. Now pour ingredients into a separate bowl and fold in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarb
  4. When combined turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough (at this point we added a little milk!)
  5. Place the dough onto a plate. cover with cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes
  6. Now to make the icing…. back to the food processor (or use immense amounts of elbow grease if not using one!!) pour in the egg white and beat until soft peaks have formed
  7. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until firm peaks have formed
  8. When ready divide the icing into three separate bowls, leave one white, then  add green food colouring to the next one and finally red food colouring to the last portion.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 180 ºC
  10. Take the dough out of the fridge after 30 minutes and place between two sheets of Baking Paper
  11. Roll the dough out until it is roughly 4 mm thick
  12. Now use cookie cutters to make your Gingerbread shapes
  13. Place in the oven for 5 minutes on Baking Paper
  14. Take out and gently turn the Gingerbread shapes over
  15. Place back into the oven for another 5 minutes
  16. Once golden brown remove from the oven and allow to cool
  17. Once cooled you are then able to create funky designs on your Gingerbread shapes 🙂

Now it has to be said that;  A) Livvy and I have NEVER made Gingerbread before and although there are a lot of ‘steps’ involved in this recipe it is actually really easy.  B) Daddy who hates Gingerbread normally, loved ours (so much so in fact he scoffed four pieces!!!)  Oh and C) it was our very first attempt at icing too!!! 🙂   All in all not bad for a mornings work!!!

References

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/9761/gingerbread+men

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingerbread

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2 responses to “Gingerbread Men, Hearts and Stars

  1. They look so sweet! My little one has been baking traditional Finnish gingerbread cookies with his Finnish grandma, but I’d also like to have a cookie baking day with him 🙂

  2. Thank you! 🙂 mmmmm loving the Gingerbread at the moment and surprisingly easy to make too 😉 Liv and I are going to make another batch for sure – ours were gone in a day!! – Finnish Gingerbread sounds interesting will have to look at a recipe!! I highly recommend baking with little ones, it’s so much fun 🙂

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