After a wild Saturday night watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and eating eggplant pizzas (which you need to try, so easy and absolutely delightful), I naturally woke up at 6:30am on a Sunday morning.
Andrew and I hopped on our bikes, rolled down to Finlay and Sons and enjoyed a beautiful breakfast in the sunshine. We were also home by 8:30am and at a loss for what to do next. [This is why people sleep in!]
IT’S CHRISTMAS BAKING TIME. I had all the ingredients for gingerbread men, and having never made them before I was super keen to try them out. On went the Christmas tunes, out came the ingredients and I set to work.
In one of the many Christmas magazines I bought last year, there was a mini cookbook which I’ve grabbed the recipe from, adapted from this one. Thank you Australian Women’s Weekly!
125g of room temp butter (your life will be much easier if you let it warm up a little) and 1/4 cup of brown sugar are beaten in a bowl. I use a hand mixer throughout. Add in 1/3 cup treacle (I used Molasses) and 1 whole egg.
2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp mixed spice and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda are combined and then added to the wet mixture. It should begin to resemble a dough by now, so get those kneading hands working on a floured surface and then wrap the dough in glad wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180° and line two trays with baking paper. Here’s the fun part! Roll your dough between two sheets of baking paper until it’s around 7mm thick, or your preference. Now you get to use your fun Christmas cutters that you save all year and make these cute little shapes!
Place them onto the trays and bake for around 12 minutes… mine were more like 16, but our oven ain’t the best! Let these babies cool on a wire rack before you begin icing…
Disclaimer: I avoided royal icing for a long time because I thought it was too hard, and to be honest didn’t even know how to make it. But it’s actually insanely simple and sooooo cool to make. You beat one egg white until it become gloriously bubbly, then add in 1 1/4 cups of pure icing sugar and finally 1 tsp of lemon juice. It should be wonderfully smooth and holding it’s own shape.
The most difficult part is actually icing these suckers. Using a piping bag with a small nozzle just go to town! I would lay one down on baking paper and hope for the best. Andrew was lucky enough to have my tester cookie, which basically a tree just completely covered in icing. Gotta start somewhere!
It took me a while to get the hang of it, like anything – practice makes perfect. Ugh – I know, I want to punch myself in the face too.
HOWEVER, I do love trying out new recipes and adding something different to my repertoire. Plus, the brownie points from people at work can’t hurt. Note: always give cookies to the IT guys, they will be the ones you need favours from.
Enjoy your baking masterpieces or disasters, and remember if it has butter and sugar in it, it will taste good.