One of my favourite times in the kitchen is when my five year old nephew comes to do some cooking with me. He often comes round at the weekend and always wants to make something that he can take home for mummy and that can be covered in garish icing!
The most often requested item is gingerbread, mainly because the recipe I have always makes far too much dough to cut out to fit on my baking trays that he ends up playing with half the mixture. I often think that he would actually prefer to just make the dough and not bother to cook any of it! I often worry because this mixture has an egg in it, but he’s too busy playing to start eating any of the uncooked mixture! When we have the grand tidy up before he goes home we often have to dig the toy figures of Dr Who or Spiderman out of the leftover dough! I have nightmares that one day I’ll be cleaning up while the cookies are baking and start smelling the unmistakable odour of melting plastic!
The recipe I’ve given below makes about 20 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutters, make double if you have a small child who’s a fan of burying things in dough!
You will need: 340g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 115g butter, 2 tsp ground ginger, 175g demerera sugar, 1 beaten egg and 4 tbs golden syrup. You’ll also need icing sugar and water if you’re going to decorate them.
Set the over to 190°C/ 375°F/ Gas mark 5 and grease your baking trays.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup together in a saucepan and stir together over a low heat until melted together.
Sift the flour, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter mixture and the beaten egg.
Mix everything together and knead into a ball. At this point my recipe says you should then chill the dough mixture for 30 minutes, but whoever wrote this recipe didn’t have an impatient five year old beside them wanting to play with the cookie cutters!
Sprinkle some flour on the worktop and roll out the mixture. Cut out different shapes using the cookie cutters. Use a palette knife to ease them off the worktop onto the baking tray.
Bake the biscuits for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Have some really good diversionary tactics ready so that the biscuits have a chance to cool before you cover them with icing. They have to be really good because the smell of these biscuits is irresistible!