Woohoo!! Christmas is on it’s way. Are you excited? I am! Tonight will be spent at Ant’s grandparents’ place, where we have a traditional roast dinner and then wait up until midnight to open presents. The following day will involve a full day of feasting, feasting and more feasting. I can’t wait!
Continuing on with the festive baking, I decided to bake two things that first come to mind when I think of Christmas; shortbread and gingerbread men (of course there is fruit mince pie but I’m not a fan of them). Both of which are fairly easy to make but I decided to add a little twist to both.
Buttery, crumbly and sugary. I decided to take it one step further by making it chocolatey because we all know that chocolate makes everything better.
Instead of making regular gingerbread men, I decided to make mine without some of their limbs. I bought these cutters about 2 years ago and finally have been able to use them. For some reason I like the headless gingerbread man the most. I was actually looking for a soft gingerbread recipe and thought this was it but it was slightly crunchy; although I did bake it for 15 minutes, so if you are after a soft gingerbread maybe try baking them for 12 minutes. The spices were subtle but feel free to adjust the amount of spices according to your taste. EDIT: Actually, I found them to be slightly soft the day after; so if you still want a soft cookie, bake them for 12 minutes.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Feast up and may your bellies grow full over the next few days.
Adapted from Taste.com.au
250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup cornflour, sifted (I used rice flour)
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 egg white, lightly whisked
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale.
- Add flour and cornflour and mix to combine. Knead gently until smooth.
- Divide dough in half and place into another bowl.
- Add cocoa powder to one bowl and mix until well incorporated.
- Grab a handful of chocolate dough and regular dough and combine the two, squishing them together to create a marble effect, repeat for remaining dough.
- Once all the dough is “marblised”, roll the dough in between two sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 1cm.
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Cut 8x2cm strips of dough and place them onto the trays, about 2cm apart.
- Brush the cookies with egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar.
- Poke holes in the cookies with a fork.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 160C (320F).
- Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely on trays.
Adapted from Bill Granger Everyday
Makes about 40 cookies
60g butter, melted
2/3 cup golden syrup (I used honey)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Additional flour for kneading
1 egg white
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
Food colouring (if using)
Smarties, to decorate
For the cookies
- Mix the butter and golden syrup in a bowl until combined.
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F).
- Sift flour, baking powder and spices together and then mix into the butter mixture.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and no longer sticky.
- Roll out dough to thickness of 5mm and cut into shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake in oven 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
For the icing
- Lightly hisk egg white in a bowl.
- Add icing sugar and mix until smooth. (If using food colouring, add now.)
- Pipe icing onto cooled cookies and decorate with Smarties.