Today is my last day at work before twelve glorious days off. As much as I love actually going on holiday, there is something wonderful about the idea of spending so long at home, albeit it at a mixture of my home, my boyfriend's home and my parents' home.
Despite the time off, I probably won't be venturing into the kitchen much apart from when I am nagged to do the washing up and so I won't be blogging again until the start of January.
2012 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year what with the Olympics coming to town, the possibility of a couple of months off work and various other endeavours that are in the pipeline (which do not include either marriage or babies, just so we're clear). I'm so glad that you will all be here to share in the madness.
A word on these gingerbread men. This is one of the easiest recipes for gingerbread cookies that I've come across. It's perfect for little helping hands, the ingredients are all things that I tend to have on hand and, for all that, the cookies are surprisingly good. You can bake them until they're crisp or, as I prefer, under bake them slightly so that there is a little give. Some of my little gingerbread men I dipped in chocolate but I actually prefer the ones that I left unadorned apart from a sprinkling of brown sugar. Not least because it's marginally easier to justify eating a handful* for breakfast that way...
The frankly amateur photo-editing is mainly down to the fact that I was too busy watching Home Alone and making jazzy trousers for my gingerbread men to take any pictures until it was almost dark. Thank goodness that the days are only going to get longer from here on in.
* These are pretty tiny, about an inch high (hence eating them by the handful). Obviously you can make them bigger if you don't fancy spending a couple of hours pressing tiny little figures out of your cutters but they will probably not be as cute. Sorry, that's just the way it is.
Yield: About 60-80 mini gingerbread men or 20 large gingerbread men
Adapted from Cook UK
- 350g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 100g unsalted butter, cold
- 175g light brown soft sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup (or something sweet and sticky like corn syrup)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Rub together the flour, spices and butter in a large bowl until you have something that resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar, golden syrup and egg and bring the mixture together to form a dough.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to your desired thickness and cut out your gingerbread men.
- Bake for 6-15 minutes depending on size and how well done you want them (I baked mine for 7 minutes).
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool and decorate as desired.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to seeing you in 2012 for more culinary adventures!