Monday, 23 January 2012

Ginger Bread House & Ginger biscuits

Ginger Bread Christmas house 2011

Final photo before it was destroyed - note the fingers on the left ...

Little fingers trying to get the house

Making and baking in Oma's kitchen in Empangeni 

cutting out using cardboard stencil
Side walls

Baked and cooling

Some extra cookies from left over ginger bread dough
Yummy left over ginger bread dough from gingerbread house and icing and decorations 

let the feast begin - poor dears had to wait till Christmas day
Even toy hammers where involved in the destruction
hhhhmmm nom nom nom

The face of a happy chappy finally with a piece of the house

Gingerbread is not just for Christmas !!
We make gingerbread all year round ... Yummy yummy yummy....

We love to make all sorts for any occasion - or just to have fun with...

Gingerbread recipes I've tried and tested...
A few notes gingerbread dough and working with Gingerbread !

Gingerbread should be made with all your "brown spices" - but dont over spice - you want the essence not over to over power it 
Dont be heavy handed with the ginger, it can make the biscuits have to much of a bite.

There are 2 types of recipes the type you leave over night (I find these the best) and the type you can make up quickly if you have a gingerbread emergency!!! 

The first one is the over night type - you can make a HUGE double batch and divide it up into several cling filled portions and make the biscuit over a week - or freeze it . I normally make huge batches and bake them with my kids over time or when I have a creative streek or need some biscuits ASAP.

The Hummingbird Bakery Gingerbread Men Ingredients

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g soft dark brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar
  • 125g black treacle
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 400g plain flour
For the royal icing:
  • food colouring, optional
  • gingerbread biscuit cutters
  • a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper
  • ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 310g icing sugar, sifted

The Hummingbird Bakery Gingerbread Men Directions

For the cake:
  1. First, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Then, put the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream on slow speed until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat in the egg and treacle, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Now, turn the mixer back down to slow speed and slowly add the flour mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time, stopping often to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Once an even dough has formed, take it out of the mixer, divide into 3 and wrap each piece in clingfilm.
  4. After that, leave to rest overnight in the fridge.
  5. The next step, when you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave to soften for about 10 minutes. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 4 mm with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with the biscuit cutters. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for about 10–15 minutes.
  7. Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the royal icing:
  1. Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk). Gradually start adding the icing sugar, mixing well after each addition to ensure all sugar is incorporated. Whisk until you get stiff peaks. If the icing is too runny, add a little more sugar. Stir in a couple of drops of food colouring, if using, and decorate the cookies.

This is a quick fix Gingerbread recipe - no need to leave overnight. 

Gingerbread People

Makes 12
75g (3oz) dark brown sugar, sieved 
3 tbsp golden syrup 
1 level tbsp cinnamon or ground mixed spice 
1 level tbsp ginger 
95g (3½oz) butter or margarine 
½ level tsp Dr. Oetker Bicarbonate of Soda 
225g (8oz) plain flour
To decorateDr. Oetker Writing Icing
Dr. Oetker Soft Silver Pearls
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease a baking tray.
2. Put sugar, syrup, 1 tbsp water and spices together in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
3. Remove saucepan from the heat and cut butter (or margarine) into pieces.  Add butter (or margarine) to the saucepan along with the Bicarbonate of Soda.
4. Gradually mix in the flour until you have a smooth dough.  Add a little more flour if needed.  Set aside in a cool place and leave for 30 minutes.
5. Roll out the dough to approx. 3mm (1/8 inch) thick on a lightly floured surface and, using a cutter, cut out the Gingerbread People and place on the baking tray.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until biscuits are firm and golden.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then decorate using Writing Icing and Soft Silver Pearls for eyes.

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