Ginger Bread

gingerbread boys-4

Ginger Bread

We love all things ginger in our house. So it’s no surprise that ginger bread always features in our Christmas treats. This year I’m making these ginger bread ‘boys’ to use a cute decorations for our tree… but they’re great to eat as well!

150g (5oz) butter at room temperature
150g (5oz) brown sugar
1 egg
250g (9oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
for the icing:
200g (7oz) icing sugar (powdered or confectioners sugar)

1. Whizz butter and sugar in a food processor or stand mixer until pale and creamy. Add egg and mix for another minute or so.

2. Combine flour, bicarb and ginger in a small bowl.

3. Using a spoon, gently stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until you can’t see anymore streaks of flour.

4. Wrap your dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

5. When you’re ready for some baking action. Preheat your oven to 180c (350F). Roll the dough on a super well floured surface until it’s about 5mm (1/4in) thick.

6. Cut out shapes with your favourite cookie cutter and transfer to 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until your cookies are lovely and brown.

7. If using for decorations, use a skewer to make a hole while they’re still warm. Cool on the tray.

To Decorate

1. Mix icing sugar with 2 tablespoons boiling water. Add more water if it seems too thick.

2. Transfer to a piping bag or ziplock bag. Cut one corner off the bottom of your ziplock bag. Decorate your cookies as you like.

Shelf Life

Will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container. If hanging on your tree I’m afraid they won’t taste very good after a couple of days.

Variations

no ginger – just skip it and change the name to brown sugar cookies.

ginger lovers – consider upping the ginger to 3 teaspoons.

blond ginger bread
– use white sugar instead of brown.

vegan / egg-free – replace the egg with 60g (2oz) water. I haven’t tried this but pretty sure it won’t be a problem.

gluten-free – a commercial gluten-free flour should work OK.

Problem Solving Guide

tough cookies – this means the gluten in your dough has been over mixed. Next time be more gentle when combining flour and butter mixtures.

bitter – either over baked cookies or too much ginger. Make sure your cookies aren’t rolled too thin or next time consider checking after 8-10 minutes. If you think it’s the ginger, next time use less.

uneven baking – a sign of uneven rolling! Next time try to get the dough more smooth.

dough sticking to the surface – add LOADS more flour. I also sometimes find rolling out onto baking paper instead of directly onto the work bench helps.

no rolling pin? – use a clean straight sided bottle. Wine bottles are especially good.

Packaging Suggestions

Cookie tins are great! Or wide mouth glass jars. Or ziplock bags, basically anything that keeps the air out.

Ingredients List

Flour, butter, sugar, egg, ginger, baking soda.

Serving Suggestions

Lovely with a cup of tea.

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