Friday, 29 November 2013

Traditional gingerbread cookies

It is now time to start making your gingerbread cookies if you want them ready for Christmas! Cookies are hard once baked and need to be stored in a tin for few weeks to become soft and ready to decorate- which is perfect, as you will have more time to prepare your Christmas meal and do all the Christmas shopping! I usually make those on the beginning of December and leave in the tin until the week before Christmas when I decorate them with icing or chocolate (which you will find on the blog, of course:) ).

I almost forgot to tell you how delicious those are!  Sweet from the honey and aromatic from all those spices… it is hard to stop yourself from eating them all before Christmas! And they smell so delicious too!

Ingredients: (For about 80 large cookies, depending on how big your cookie cutters are)
  • 550g plain flour
  • 300g honey
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp bicarb. of soda
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 50g spices (ready mixed gingerbread spice or cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and a little bit of ground cloves)

Melt the butter with honey in a small saucepan over low heat, then set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl place all remaining ingredients, then add butter and honey mixture while still a little warm, mix quickly until just combined and the dough comes nicely together.  

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 3mm-4mm thick and cut out the cookies.  Place on a lined baking sheet about 1 cm apart and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 10 minutes (time can vary from 7 to 12 minutes depending on size and thickness of the cookies).  They are ready when golden brown and baked through.

You will have to make several batches, just cut out more cookies while first tray is in the oven, there is no need to chill the dough, it can easily wait on a baking sheet until the first batch is ready. 

Cookies will be soft when straight from the oven, leave them to cool for couple of minutes on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (cookies will be very hard when cooled0.  Store in a metal tin until soft and ready to decorate.


If your cookies are not getting softer simply place a quarter of an apple, or some orange skin in the tin and let them absorb the moisture from the fruit.  Remember to change the fruit every few days.  

You can also open the tin and leave it in a moist environment (e.g kitchen)  for the day. 

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