Sunday, December 16, 2007

So this is Christmas...

Posted by kel @ sweet treats at 9:13 PM
...and what have I done? I've spent the weekend baking up a storm!

I started off with gingerbread. I've never made it before so I thought I'd give it a crack. Mum only ever made it once, and that was to make a gingerbread house. It gave her grief for about two days because it kept falling down. I have fond memories of her gingerbread angst. Needless to say, she never attempted a house again.

I thought gingerbread would make a nice festive gift for my new neighbours. I haven't met the ones across the hall yet, but I am friends with their cat (J just shakes his head at me when I sit on the stairs patting it). I have no idea what his name is, but I have christened it 'Puss'. How very original. So...I have a package of gingerbread men (well actually it's a man and a lady!) along with a little tin of cat food to hang on their door as a 'hi, we're your neighbours, how ya doin' kind of thing.
Here is a selection of my gingerbread people:


I learnt that my piping skills are in no way up to scratch and I need heeeeaps more practice. Royal icing is a royal pain in the ass! I thought I'd be clever and make a little gingerbread house. I was prepared for the gingerbread house grief I witnessed with my mother; however it turned out ok. I may or may not do a full house with lollies etc. Depends on how much time I have (and how much patience!)

Please note little mini gingerbread man and gingerbread tree next to the house!


Gingerbread

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup golden syrup

90g butter

1tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tbsp bicarb soda

500g plain flour

pinch of salt

2 eggs, beaten

Combine sugar, golden syrup, butter, spices and fresh ginger in a pan over low heat and melt, stirring. Remove from the heat for 2 mins and then add bicarb and stir until fluffy. Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add eggs and gradually add syrup. Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour. Roll out thinly and cut into shapes. Place on trays lined with baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes (less if you like them a bit more soft). Let cool on tray for 5 minutes before removing. Decorate with royal icing.

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