Friday, 11 December 2009

Gingerbread decorations

As we will be away for Christmas, our families are having our Christmas dinners a couple of days before the big event. I am going to make gingerbread cupcakes with ginger caramel frosting for everybody. Today, I made the little gingerbread decorations in advance. The last time I made gingerbread was as a child but I remember having fun pressing out different shapes and eating the dough. Today's decorations were quite small as they will go on top of the cupcakes I make next week, so I used my icing cutters instead of cookie cutters.

Gingerbread

Ingredients
  • 115 g butter
  • 175 g brown sugar
  • 4 T golden syrup
  • 340 g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
Method
  1. Place the butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Sift the flour with the ginger and baking soda into a bowl. Pour the syrup mixture and the lightly beaten egg. Mix together until a soft dough is formed in the bowl, then tip onto a lightly floured bench and knead into a ball.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a baking tray or line it with baking paper.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to 0.5 cm thickness. Use your choice of cutters to make shapes and place them on the prepared tray.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  6. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Gingerbread decorations
Things I have learned today about making gingerbread decorations:
  • Don't be deceived. Just because they are small does not mean they are easier to make.
  • There's a very fine line between lightly browned (ie, cooked) and burnt. Watch them extremely closely in the oven and time them for a couple of minutes at a time. Small things cook faster, but I had to write off my first tray.
  • Gold and silver glitter sprinkled on top while they are still hot might sound like a good idea and look great in cookbooks, but it will be a while before I learn how to make it look even. Luckily I practised on my first, written-off batch.
  • Even burnt gingerbread still tastes good. ;-)

    5 comments:

    Katie said...

    Sounds and looks delicious - I've printed the recipe and plan to have a go at making it! Thanks!

    millie mirepoix said...

    Hi! These look so cute. I love the idea of decorating cupcakes with little cutout gingerbreads. I have some cinnamon cookie dough in the freezer so maybe I'll try it with them? Thanks for the inspiration!

    Genki said...

    Love making gingerbread - so christmassy. Always forget that it needs to be chilled though and that messes up my timing!

    Donna said...

    those look so cute! Do we get to see them decorated?

    Sab said...

    I made gingerbread ornaments this last week as well... but mine are not meant for eating. They finish ROCK solid, and you paint them afterwards. I like yours though! I may have to attempt that recipe next year.